Mansion owners set for summer

Owners of an iconic Ripon mansion say they are gearing up for an exciting summer season as major renovations to its events space continue to take shape.

By Janet Harrison
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 3:23 pm

The Old Deanery has enjoyed a successful four months since its initial opening last January and is on track to becoming a sought-after location for family celebrations.

Since acquiring the keys in August 2021, owners, Rebecca Hill and Chris Layton, have single-handedly carried out extensive refurbishments to the Jacobean mansion’s interior and exterior.

Rebecca said: “With The Old Deanery having only opened its doors to guests at the start of 2022, we’re off to an amazing start – and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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“We are no strangers to getting our hands stuck in and doing the hard work ourselves.

“My husband, Chris, loves old buildings and insists that they “talk to him” – so a quick and unsympathetic rip-out and re-fit would not have worked for us personally.

“We live in the property, so have learned what works best and adapted accordingly, which is an overall slower process but ensures that the history and character of the building is not only retained but showcased and celebrated.”

She added: “This approach seems to be working very well for us – local people are responding positively to our renovations and are keen to support the venue.

“We have already hosted several events, including two birthday parties, a wake, our wedding, and another wedding for a local couple.

“We have a good number of events booked in for the rest of the year and into 2023, and even some weddings booked for 2024, but we still have good availability if people want to enquire.”

The owners have paid homage to the venue’s Jacobean roots by replacing modern furniture with traditional style.

She added: “This has been an undeniably big year for The Old Deanery, but we are not done just yet.

“With an old building and event space the work never finishes – it grows and develops, so there will always be something to work on or touch up.

“Looking ahead to the summer, we hope to buy a new a pool table for the rear of the game room alongside making vast improvements to the storage areas.”