Now a 42-bedroom hotel with bar and restaurant, the site was originally built in circa 1760 having started life as a dwelling for a “man of substance”, and was later a ladies’ finishing school. Around 1895, the building was bought by a group of wealthy farmers, when a small Victorian hall was constructed, and was given the name of The Exchange Club. Many important people stayed at the Club, including a young Winston Churchill. There are also stories of ghosts, phantom footsteps, a headless monk and the ghost of a little girl who is reputed to have fallen from the roof.
During the 1970s, when the farming community went into decline, the building became derelict. It was then that the current owner, Joseph Mullen, bought the building and decided to completely renovate it and restore it to its former glory.
The building retains many of its original interior features including an ornate plasterwork ceiling, panelled walls and decorative fire surrounds. He also added 22 ensuite bedrooms in the grounds to the rear and a separate self-contained block with 20 further bedrooms, a bar, lounge and licensed cafe.
Mark Worley, Director at Christie & Co’s Newcastle office who is handling the sale, comments, “Over the past eight years, the hotel has been operating on minimal opening hours due to the current owner’s other business ventures. However, pre-recession, the business was turning over in excess of £1m and generating profits of circa £500,000. This was achieved with just 22 bedrooms.
“The hotel now stands ready to welcome a new owner to take full advantage of the investment our client, who is retiring, has put into the site.”
Christie & Co is seeking an asking price of £1.5m for the freehold interest of the Exchange Coach House Inn.