Restoration of historic country house continues with £1.45m cash injection

The owner of an historic country house in the Lake District is pushing ahead with plans to expand the site’s wedding business after securing a £1.45m cash boost.

Calthwaite Hall, a grade II-listed gothic mansion, has been restored to its former glory after falling into disrepair when the dairy farming family who had lived there for half a century sold up.

Tony Kenvig, the current owner, has restored the 11-bedroom hall in a renovation project which included repairs to most of the house and installing luxury wooden holiday lodges, and extensive renovation of the grounds and gardens to return the nine-acre site to its original layout.

Now he is expanding his wedding business by increasing the number of wooden lodges on the nine-acre site, and refurbishing Wells Cottage, a grade II-listed former outbuilding.

It will be turned into a one-bedroom luxury holiday cottage to complement the hall’s Old Carriage House, which was previously re-developed into a holiday cottage.
The latest round of investment for the project came from lender Together.

Kenvig said: “The support and funding from Together has been at the heart of our expansion plans to create more on-site accommodation for our guests as we enter into the next phase of Calthwaite Hall’s long and fascinating history.”

Initially built in 1837 as the country seat of local landowner Thomas Dixon, Calthwaite Hall was the home of the Pattinsons, a dairy farming family who were instrumental in developing semi-skimmed milk.

In 2000, they moved out, selling up their herd of pedigree Jersey milking herd in what was the UK’s biggest ever dairy cattle auction, and Kenvig bought the property near Penrith eight years later.

He said: “The place was pretty much uninhabitable. The roof was a mess, there was dry rot, wet rot and all sorts of other problems.

“Finance was a problem because the hall was in such a state of disrepair but knew what I wanted to do and managed to secure funding, initially, for the first part of the project. This latest round of development finance will really help the business in the long-term.”

Manchester-based Together agreed the loan, secured against Calthwaite Hall and the village pub, The Globe, which he also owns.

Steve Luty, corporate development director at Together, said: “It was clear from visiting Calthwaite and seeing the hall what a magnificent destination it is, and how far Tony Kenvig has already come in realising his vision for the place.

“At Together, we’ll always look at providing finance in more unusual or complex situations like this, and we look forward to helping out many other business owners and entrepreneurs in the future.”