YORK pub and hotel, Judges Lodgings, has been bought by brewer Daniel Thwaites plc for £1.5 million.

The 14 bedroom Judges Lodgings, based in Lendal, will expand the company's Thwaites Inns of Character portfolio.

Thwaites said it plans to redevelop the historic cellar bar and outdoor terraces, but in the interim the property will continue to trade as a townhouse hotel.

Antony Spencer, managing director of Shire Hotels, which manages the Thwaites Inns of Character portfolio, said: “We are delighted to have secured a foothold for Thwaites in such a fantastic location and are very optimistic about the future for The Judges Lodgings.

"It’s such an integral part of the history of the city, and we want to ensure that we develop and refurbish the property in such a way that the it will be a prime city centre destination that visitors to York will want to try and one that the people of York can be proud of once more.”

Andy Clay and Rob Sadler of Begbies Traynor, who were appointed administrators in January, said that while initially there was significant interest in the business, the marketplace remained challenging and final offers received from interested parties, with the exception of Thwaites, were extremely disappointing.

Andy Clay said: “It is great news that one of the city’s oldest and most prestigious venues will continue to trade."

The iconic Grade 1 listed building dates back to 1710 and was originally built as a private residence for an eminent physician.

It was bought in 1806 as the official judge’s residence in York and remained in use in that capacity until 1976 when it was transformed into a hotel and underwent a subsequent re-development in 2007 by a private entrepreneur into a ‘boutique’ hotel with cellar bar and restaurant.