Architects Self and White Design have helped bring a ‘hidden gem’ of Rotherham back to life with the opening of the George Wright boutique hotel, bar and restaurant.
The iconic Grade 11-listed building tucked away behind the High Street on Snail Hill, dates back to the beginning of the 19th century, but has laid empty since the mid-1990s after being severely fire-damaged.
But this week it opened its doors again as a seven-bedroomed boutique hotel in a £500,000 scheme which has created 25 jobs.
The George Wright features a function room that can accommodate 150 people with open terraces and a botanical-type garden to the rear.
The unique building also boasts gin and whisky bars and a gallery restaurant with an open kitchen offering fine-dining for up to 80 people.
The showcase redevelopment has been designed by Self and White design. Project architect Kevin Unwin said: “This is a brilliant regeneration project which is bringing new life to a wonderful building, creating jobs and providing something unique for the people of Rotherham.
“We have, wherever possible, reinstated a lot of the original brickwork, natural stone and timber which has been left exposed to keep the feel of the building throughout. The internal fit out has also included the refurbishment of things like original fireplaces and front doors.”
Each bedroom, including two wedding suites, are named after a famous son or daughter of Rotherham. These include civil engineer Sir Donald Coleman Bailey, inventor of the Bailey Bridge which helped secure victory in World War Two, and the ardent slavery abolishionist Elizabeth Walker.
The ‘hiddden gem’ of a Grade 11-listed building was built in 1810 as offices for George Wright & Co, famous for designing and manufacturing elaborate stoves and fireplaces. It was also legal offices and was last used as a pub and restaurant in the mid 1990s before being badly damaged in a major fire.
Heritage Lottery Funding backed by Rotherham Council enabled the fire damaged shell of the building to be repaired in 2013, when it was bought by Chris Hamby as part of his High Street regeneration project in Rotherham.