Former RAF radar site converted into luxury home near Whitby shortlisted for two major awards

A former RAF radar site overlooking the North Sea which has been restored to its former glory, has been short-listed for two major awards.
Interior of the Old Guard House at Goldsborough, near Whitby.Interior of the Old Guard House at Goldsborough, near Whitby.
Interior of the Old Guard House at Goldsborough, near Whitby.

The Old Guard House in Goldsborough, part of the Mulgrave Estate, has been converted into a luxury five-bedroom holiday home and has already achieved a 5-Star Gold Visit England Award.

Now it has been shortlisted in two categories in the prestigious RICS Regional Awards.

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These categories are the Heritage Project and the Refurbishment and Revitalisation Project.

The RICS judges said: “We are delighted that the Old Guard House submission has successfully secured a place on the shortlist in two categories.

"This achievement is testament to the work and dedication of the Mulgrave Estate.”

The restoration of the iconic building, which took 18 months to complete, has been undertaken by interior designer Sibylla Phipps.

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Robert Childerhouse, Estate Manager at Mulgrave, said: “This award is a tremendous honour for the Estate and a reward for the hard-working Old Guard House team, most notably Sibylla, who have created a magnificent new building out of a derelict wreck.”

The Old Guard House sleeps 10 in five bedrooms with four bathrooms.

Sibylla said: “This was a very large project for us: We needed to restore the original building to exactly what it would have looked like during the Second World War.

"We were also able to put in a modern addition, which has been designed to work in harmony with the feel of the original building, but takes advantage of the sensational views over the sea.

“I was attracted to this project by its history.

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"As a former RAF radar site, it was always a landmark and a point of interest in the area.

"In 2004 it was badly damaged by a fire and stood as a skeletal wreck until we began work on it last year.

“It always seemed sad to me that a building with so much historical value should be left in a state of total disrepair and disuse.

"My grandmother, who worked in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in the Second World War, had always been keen to restore it but all previous attempts, and there have been many, proved unsuccessful.

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“It has been a great pleasure to work on The Old Guard House.

"We haven’t faced many challenges in the building process, mainly due to the brilliant work of our construction company Starline Construction.

“My only regret is that the underground bunker, in which the control panels of the Guard House were kept, was beyond repair.

"Having been flooded for many decades it was too dangerous to recover and is now sealed off for safety reasons.”

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Sybilla has kept the interior of the original Guard House “as close to a 1940s interior as possible” with the distinctive wallpaper of that era.

She sourced 1940s pieces of furniture and other vintage pieces from antique shops in Whitby.

The Old Guard House was originally developed in 1941 as an Army station to detect enemy ships approaching Britain by sea in the Second World War.

In 1942, it was transferred to the control of the RAF, becoming RAF Goldsborough.

It was part of the Chain Home Low radar warning system that was developed to detect low flying aircraft used by German forces.

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