Humberside

Hopes National Trust's Maister House in Hull could reopen

Maister House Exterior Image copyright Bernard Sharp/Geograph
Image caption The house on High Street is the only National Trust property in East Yorkshire

A National Trust property that has been closed since 2016 could reopen to visitors.

Maister House, an 18th century Grade I listed merchant house in Hull Old Town, was used as offices but closed when its long-standing tenant went into liquidation.

The National Trust said it was in "advanced negotiations" with a business which hoped to open the building.

It added it hoped to make a detailed announcement within months.

The Maister family were merchants who especially traded with the Baltic ports and the property was built for Henry Maister in 1743-4.

It is a rare surviving example of such a merchant house and its exterior is a typical feature of Palladian architecture.

Historic England said the interior of the house is "of importance both locally and nationally".

When the building was previously occupied, visitors were able to view the interior architecture of the hall and climb the house's ornate staircase with its wrought-iron balustrade.

Image copyright Mark Ivkovic
Image caption The house was given to the National Trust in the 1960s under an agreement it could not be sold

Mike Noddings, chairman of the National Trust East Riding Association, described it as a "very fine house".

"I'd like to see it come back as a Georgian house fully open to visitors," he added.

"It has got the possibilities to do it, at the moment it's a white elephant."

Tony Earnshaw, from the National Trust, said: "We are in advanced negotiations with a local business to take on a tenancy agreement."

That business was "keen to work with the National Trust to open the building to visitors once again", he said.

Nick Coultish, of Scotts Property, which is marketing the house, said: "We are currently in negotiations with an organisation... which if successful will allow public visitor access once again."

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