A HISTORIC former York care home has “come back to market.”

The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust is selling Lamel Beeches at 105 Heslington Road for an undisclosed amount, as it seeks offers from interested parties.

The former care home closed in Spring 2021, leading the trust to instruct Savills to sell the property as “it is considered to be unsuitable for affordable housing.”

Property details from the estate agents also say it is understood the home was built in the early 20th century, initially serving as the Superintendent’s residence for the adjoining Retreat Hospital.


“Subsequently the property has been converted from residential use into a care home, with a series of extensions during the 1980’s.”

Just part of the Retreat site is included in the sale, with Lamel Beeches taking its name from Lamel Hill, “a scheduled monument immediately south of the grounds that include Roman burial remains and was the location of a Parliamentary gun-battery during the Civil War siege of York in 1644.”

The red-brick property is comprised of two floors, with a cellar. It has 37 en-suite bedrooms, some with balconies.

The site extends to 1.59acres and is surrounded to the north and west by an “impressive red brick boundary wall dating from the original Retreat use.”

York Press: The site that is back on the market

“There is also garaging and associated car parking, grounds and landscaping. There are impressive established gardens and mature deciduous trees surrounding the property.”

The property is also a Grade II* Registered Park and is sited within the Retreat/ Heslington Road Conservation Area.

Savills added: “Subject to the necessary consent, the site would be suitable to a number of uses, including redevelopment to residential, or continued care use.

“There are generous grounds to the building, which include a number of established deciduous trees and lawn area.”

The Joseph Rowntree Trust first began trying to dispose of the market towards the end of 2022 but it is understood a potential deal fell through, leading to the site to “come back to market” in recent weeks.

The trust told the Press it had considered using the property for affordable housing but for reasons  including its “layout and condition” such development was considered unsuitable.

A spokesperson confirmed that any profits from the sale of the building, however, would be re-invested in affordable housing provision.

They continued: JRHT is a not for profit organisation, any surplus generated from the sale will be reinvested into the core activities of the organisation.   

“JRHT has a development programme which aims to provide 1,000 new and affordable homes.

“As part of this, we have recently been granted planning permission to build 117 new family homes in New Earswick.

“We have also worked alongside a local home builder, Gateway Developments to submit plans to build 114 new and affordable homes off Sim Balk Lane in York.”