A UNIVERSITY student has turned history detective as part of a project to celebrate the £3.2m renovation of Barnard Castle's landmark Witham Hall.

Lara Bissicks has spent the last six weeks based at Radio Teesdale researching the history of the grade II listed building which is due to reopen later this year after an extensive programme of refurbishments.

The 19-year-old Leeds Trinity University student's efforts will form the basis of an hour-long programme on The Witham that will be aired by the station.

Her work will also be used as part of an exhibition entitled The Witham That Was, which aims to capture people's memories of The Witham.

Lara, from Reeth, near Richmond, is studying a three-year course in English and writing, and said: “When I started, I knew nothing about The Witham.

“But I have enjoyed doing it and found it really interesting. Producing scripts has also been different to the sort of writing I am doing at university.

“My university work is to be read, whereas what I have been doing here is to be spoken.”

Although Lara's placement has now ended, the search is continuing for people to come forward with their memories of The Witham.

Anyone wishing to share their memories of The Witham Hall should contact Laura Brown, heritage programme co-ordinator on 01833-613107 or visit the temporary office at Woodleigh, Flatts Road, Barnard Castle.