The Star at Harome fire: Owner Andrew Pern reveals plans to restore 14th-century pub - including saving unique cruck frame

Detailed plans have been lodged for the restoration of 14th-century Michelin-starred pub The Star Inn at Harome, five months after a devastating arson attack left much of the celebrated restaurant a blackened shell.

Listed building planning application documents submitted by the Harome pub’s chef-patron Andrew Pern to Ryedale Council reveal the amount of structural damage has been found to be significantly less than was first feared.

North Yorkshire Police have said a number of groups of people were in the area when the fire broke out at about 10pm on November 24 and they believe an arsonist was responsible.

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Nine fire engines were called to tackle the fire, which resulted in extensive fire, water and smoke damage to much of the ground, first and second floors.

Andrew Pern outside The Star Inn at Harome

The papers state the applicaion “is a crucial first step in bringing the Star Inn back into use”, just weeks after the Michelin Guide announced the restaurant had retained its star for 2022, along with another Ryedale business, Tommy Banks’ Black Swan at Oldstead.

As part of a concerted effort to avoid planning issues which could see the Star Inn re-open in the autumn, the restoration will see the building’s distinctive main cruck frame saved.

Cruck frame buildings, which can be seen throughout North-East Yorkshire, were chiefly a medieval building technique, and due to disuse and rebuilding they are becoming increasingly rare, so the move to keep the main frame and replace all the other secondary timber elements on a like-for-like basis is likely to be welcomed by planners.

While surveyors have approved the restoration of the inn’s timber bar, the thatched roof was largely destroyed in the fire. The documents propose retaining as much of the historic structure as possible.

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The papers state: “The thatched roof in particular will be replaced using traditional methods and meanwhile specialist joinery firms have been approached to source and provide similar elements to those which were lost in the fire.”

The planning documents add the buiding has the potential to be enhanced through restoring and exposing historical features and removal of detrimental modern finishes, such as thick layers of paint on the building’s front facade.

The papers state: “There is clear communal and social value given the local and wider interest in the building and its history as the village pub. The pub is a landmark building at a prominent location in the village, and in more recent history has been a destination bringing visitors to the village. Restoring the fire-damaged building will retain the communal value.”