This historic coach house next to York walls could soon have a new lease of life
It once housed York’s first privately-owned motor vehicle – now it could be on the road to a complete makeover.
This coach house is set to be renovated to create seven new bedrooms for one of the city’s best hotels.
The building stands at the end of the drive leading from the courtyard at Grays Court Hotel.
Empty for years, and a little sorry looking, the plan is to transform it into a beautiful extension of Grade I listed Grays Court.
The coach house is, say planning documents, “In need of substantial investment and repair”.
They add: “The coach house is prominent in public views from the City Wall and at present has a neglected and dilapidated appearance arising from its poor state of repair.
“The proposed development would bring about the repair of the building and the consequent enhancement of the appearance of the site in views from the City Wall.”
As well as renovating the property, the owners want to add a porch, rooflights, solar panels, and alter windows and doors. But the development “is sensitive to the historic fabric and form of the building”.
Grays Court is one of York’s success stories.
A true slice of city history, parts of the building date back to the 12th century. Owner Helen Heraty bought it from the Dean and Chapter of York Minster in 2005.
After a painstaking restoration, it opened as a hotel in 2009. Grays Court was named England’s best small hotel last year, after winning the same title for Yorkshire the year before.
Recently, demand to stay in the 12-room hotel has outstripped supply – hence the plan to add seven more rooms in the coach house.
The coach house has a particular claim to fame, as the planning documents reveal: “The site has historically been a service area ancillary to Grays Court and the Coach House housed the first privately owned motor vehicle in York belonging to Edwin Gray who lived at Grays Court when he was Lord Mayor of York.”