An historic Yorkshire castle and priory have gone on the market for the first time since 1915 following the announcement of their closure last year.
Whitby’s historic Sneaton Castle and St. Hilda’s Priory are being sold as development opportunities which could include residential, hotel, healthcare, offices and leisure.
Property agent JLL has been appointed to sell both properties which are located 1.5 miles west of Whitby town centre surrounded by open farmland off Castle Road.
Sneaton Castle, is in part a grade two-listed 59,000 sq ft building. It currently provides retreat and conference facilities for up to 100 guests.
The Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete described Sneaton Castle Centre as ‘popular but loss-making’. It has been run by the Order since the 1990s following the closure of their girls’ boarding school on the site.
The adjacent St Hilda’s Priory buildings are currently in use by the Order of the Holy Paraclete, who will relocate to a newly built priory on retained land to the west of the existing property early next year.
At the time of the closure announcement, Sister Carole, Prioress of the Order, said: “We firmly believe that these planned changes are inspired by the Holy Spirit, and will allow us to develop a viable and exciting ministry for the future.”
Charles Calvert, from JLL, said yesterday: “Sneaton Castle represents a unique opportunity for any buyer and we’re excited to be bringing it to market for the first time in over 100 years.
“Its proximity to Whitby make it more attractive both in its current business function and for potential re-development.”
He added: “Subject to the usual planning consents which will have to be obtained by the new buyer, a number of development opportunities will be possible, although as the property includes a listed building, any development including change of use must be sympathetic and appropriate to the built fabric of the building and the setting.
“Both properties lend themselves to a range of possible uses including residential, hotel, healthcare, offices and leisure facilities.”
The Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete announced the sale of Sneaton Castle and St Hilda’s Priory buildings in July 2017 to enable the future development and sustainability of the Order and its ongoing commitment to Whitby.
They said the site had been home to the Order of the Holy Paraclete since its foundation in 1915.
The Order said last year that the closure of the centre, which employs 16 permanent staff, will mean less ministry to visiting individuals and groups.
However it added that the new priory will enable the Sisters to continue and develop community contacts within Whitby and continue to share their ministry and everyday life.