One of Selby’s finest historic buildings is to be given a new lease of life as part of a £500,000 extension to a town centre care home.

The original Victorian house which forms part of The Grange Care Centre is undergoing a major facelift to provide up to 12 bedrooms.

All 28 existing bedrooms and living areas are in a newer mews section of the property which stands in its own grounds just a few hundred yards from the centre of the market town.

Now work has started on upgrading the main part of the building which was partly closed three years following problems with flooding. The only parts of the original house which remain in use are the kitchen and laundry, which were unaffected.

The first stage of the revamp is to work to install a new heating system. Plans also include roof repairs, new bathrooms, and “top-to-toe” redecoration.

The home’s administrator Carl Groves said although part of the main house had not been in use for years, it remained in surprisingly good condition.

“We’ve done our best to keep everything in the best condition. It has been well maintained and although parts of the building have not been in use for years it is nowhere near being in a derelict state.

“It’s a stunning building with a lot of interesting history and I feel privileged to work here. A lot of people in Selby have memories of its past and take an interest in what is happening to it.

“It has a real wow factor and will be a lovely place to live. The entrance hall, in particular, is very grand.”

The house in Leeds Road enjoyed a varied history before becoming a care home in the 1960s.

Many local people knew it as a school in the 1940s and it was also used by the Ministry of Defence as a base for members of the Women’s Land Army.

It dates back to the late 19th century and is often referred to as ‘Jumbo Castle’ in memory of its original owner.

It was built by and belonged to wealthy timber merchant Thomas Liversidge, who gave it the original name Brooklands. He was a prominent member of the community whose roles includes Justice of the Peace, chairman of the Selby Board of health and president of the Liversidge Dispensary. For twenty years he was chairman of Selby Local Board and Urban District Council.

Many of the house’s original features, including the ceilings, ornate covings, and stained glass windows in the main house have all been retained along with the staircase and large landing.

Work on the first phase of the revamp started last month (April).

The home is one of 28 run by West Midlands-based St Philip’s Care, which has been acclaimed as a “lighthouse to a generation.”

Managing director Dermott Kelly said; “We are delighted to be bringing the rest of this magnificent building back in to use as an addition to existing facilities at The Grange.”

St Philips was judged as “the most outstanding care group in the UK” in 2016.

The group collected the accolade at a ceremony organised by the UK Over 50s Housing.

Esmonde Crawley, the editor of the Over 50s Housing Journal, which judged the award, said: “St Philips Care is the lighthouse to a generation.”

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