Anna has come together with campaigners, heritage organisations, and academics to launch a bid to save Red Barns from disrepair and to bring the building back to life as a community resource.
The Grade II* listed building at the heart of Redcar is the former home of Gertrude Bell, the renowned twentieth century explorer, mountaineer, archaeologist and diplomat.
In her career Gertrude became highly influential to British policymaking and played a major role in establishing and helping to administer the modern state of Iraq. She was given an immense amount of diplomatic power for a woman at the time.
The building itself, designed by acclaimed 19th century architect Philip Webb, also has architectural significance as it is one of the most important remaining examples of Arts and Crafts architecture in North East England.
It was commissioned by Bell's father, Sir Hugh Bell, a local industrialist whose enterprise included a steelworks in Middlesbrough.
Red Barns has huge significance to the local area and it is tragic that such a beautiful building with so much history has deteriorated into such a poor state. Our proposal to save it and turn it into a museum and learning resource would allow a permanent display of the Gertrude Bell archives and help drive the growth of local culture and tourism.
We are in talks with the private owners who, whilst having planning permission to convert the building into flats, are sympathetic to the building’s relevance to the community.
If anyone is interested in getting involved with this project, please do get in touch.
Take part in the community consultation on this project by filling in the survey below
The Eight Plinth
There is a campaign in Middlesbrough for the town's first female statue and Gertrude Bell is on the shortlist. A public vote will decide which woman will be immortalised so do take a minute to cast your vote for Gertrude http://www.eighthplinth.com/