Darlington wedding venue continues to trade as new deal is finalised

The Grade II listed Blackwell Grange Hotel near Darlington in County Durham is part of the Forestdale Hotels Group – one of four companies owned by Plymouth Argle football club chairman James Brent which have folded since Christmas

The Blackwell Grange Hotel, Grange Road, near Darlington
The Blackwell Grange Hotel, Grange Road, near Darlington

A popular wedding venue has gone into administration, but bosses have said they will continue to trade while the deal with their new buyer is finalised.

The Grade II listed Blackwell Grange Hotel near Darlington in County Durham is part of the Forestdale Hotels Group – one of four companies owned by Plymouth Argle football club chairman James Brent which have folded since Christmas.

While the hotel’s official web page has been taken offline, it is still possible to make bookings at the 17th-Century country house through other websites.

A member of staff said they were aware of the administration notice but were not able to comment further.

A notice printed in The London Gazette listed that Blackwell Grange and 11 other hotels in the same group had been placed into administration on March 7. However, the hotel group is now believed to have been bought by St James’ Hotel Properties Limited, saving 550 jobs and all of those at the Blackwell Grange.

The hotel has been a popular choice for couples getting married due to the building’s impressive Georgian architecture and wide, sweeping staircase.

It was first built as a private home by salt mine owner and industrialist George Allan in 1693, and was completed in 1717.

In 1850, it was passed to a family cousin, Robert Henry Allan, then the High Sheriff of Durham, whose mother was Hannah Havelock.

In 1880, another cousin, Sir Henry Havelock, came to the property on the condition that he changed his name to Havelock-Allan.

The Havelock-Allan baronets then held the estate until after the death of the second baronet, the liberal politician Sir Henry, in 1953.

It was later converted into a hotel, with various different hotel groups taking charge in the last decade.

The 18-hole Blackwell Grange Golf Club is a separate business and is not affected by the hotel’s administration.

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