Dunston Hall barn application: our views


The society has made known its views on a recent planning application for the conversation of one of the listed (Grade II) outbuildings at Dunston Hall into a wedding venue.

We have carried out an assessment of the necessary planning documents submitted to Chesterfield Borough Council and feel that the building is probabaly quite a important one – possibly dating back to about 1600. The society also thinks that the original listing survey carried out in the 1970s failed to reveal just how old and important the building could be. The building comprises a number of cruck frames – a type of timber construction. We conclude that:

‘the survival of substantial remains of such an extensive range of cruck framed farm buildings associated with a well-documented gentry house is important, since so often such buildings have been swept away when the main house has been rebuilt or a modern home farm built. It would be unwise to claim that the buildings at Dunston are unique, but they appear to be the largest range of this type anywhere in north Derbyshire or south Yorkshire.

Source: Our Observations on Listed Building Application CHE/22/00111/LBC, Dunston Hall, Dunston Road, Chesterfield: Conversion of outbuilding into function room (available to download below).

The society has been critical of certain aspects of recent developments at Dunston Hall, but is supporting this application. But we want to see a number of issues addressed including:

  • Before any building work begins, a detailed survey of all three surviving buildings, undertaken by a suitably qualified and experienced buildings archaeologist.
  • Dendrochronology dating of sample beams.
  • If the county council’s archaeology officer requires it, limited excavation of some floor areas in the hope of establishing the original use of different parts of the building.

All the above should be funded by the applicant. We also want to try and ensure the survival of the other buildings until a scheme for their restoration can be brought forward. (Our full recommendations are in the report downloadable below).

We think that Borough Council should also press Historic England to inspect the buildings with a view to increasing their level of protection to scheduled monument status.

The account of Dunston Hall’s history given at the beginning of the Heritage Assessment document is, as we have commented, ‘unadulterated nonsense’. We have therefore covered this in our comments on the application, which you can download below.

The Derbyshire Times has also covered the story.

To search for the planning application click the link here and type in the application reference CHE/22/00111/LBC in the search box.


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