A HISTORIC building is set to get a fresh start — and the man behind the project wants to track down the schoolboy who saved it from demolition over three decades ago.
Brampton Hall, on Manor Road in Brampton Bierlow, has been renovated into a house after a long stint as a pub.
But Giles Brearley of Classic and Contemporary Developments Limited, said he wants to find the schoolboy whose petition saved the ancient building — first recorded in 1430 — from a council plan to knock it down in the late 1970s.
Mr Brearley said that 11-year-old schoolboy Neil Fleming-Smith of Westfield Road was so angry that Rotherham Council wanted to demolish the building in 1979 that he launched a campaign to save it which got hundreds of signatures, prompting a public inquiry which came down against the authority’s scheme.
Now, Mr Brearley wants to meet Mr Fleming-Smith and show him what has been done to the building which still retains its original wooden beams and structure.
Mr Brearley said: “If we could trace Neil Fleming Smith today I would love to give him the tour of the Hall he saved by his efforts when 11 years old.
“If it was not for his efforts this place would have been demolished.
“The council wanted to demolish it and put 27 OAP bungalows on the site. Neil Fleming-Smith thought this was part of Brampton Bierlow’s history and so set up a petition in the village.”
Work on the building was started by Classic and Contemporary Developments Ltd last September.
The hall, which was formerly known as Brampton Bierlow Old Hall, will be put up for sale as a four-bedroomed family home within weeks.
It is a listed building and includes old features like a historic fireplace.
Mr Brearley said that some of the timbers will be 1,000 years old and the King Post pegged timber frame structure is held together by wooden pegs, making it a rare specimen.
Mr Brearley even discovered a hidden room behind a wall.
He said: “I would like to think we have put the building back on the map.
“The building was empty and just getting vandalised so we thought we would do something about it.
“I knew it was going to be a big job.
“We have compiled a history of the hall to pass on to its new owner when the house is sold.
“It is a beautiful building and we are pleased to have saved it.”