Police warn trespassers to stay away from dangerous St Peter's School site, in Gainford

Darlington and Stockton Times: The derelict St Peter's School, in Gainford The derelict St Peter's School, in Gainford

POLICE are seeking to dispel the myth that a village’s derelict school buildings are haunted to discourage trespassing on the dangerous site.

Officers described the former St Peter’s School buildings and grounds, on the outskirts of Gainford, in County Durham, as “an accident waiting to happen” and warned people they face being arrested if caught inside the buildings.

Since being built in 1900 as an orphanage for 300 boys, the buildings have been used as a school and, most recently, a nursing home, but have been empty since 1997.

Despite the buildings being boarded up and containing ‘danger, keep out’ notices, local police say they still receive regular complaints about trespassing inside them.

They described rumours circulating on social media about sightings of ghosts at the site as “total rubbish” and said there was nothing of any monetary value left in the buildings.

Sergeant Simon Rogers, of Barnard Castle Police, said: “We would like to dispel any rumours about the place being haunted.

“There is nothing in the buildings and they are in such a poor state of repair both internally and externally, a serious accident could happen.

“People could fall through the floors or the building itself could collapse on them, there are uncovered manholes around the grounds and there are slates coming off the roofs.”

Beat officer PC David Williamson added: “The site is one big hazard.

“Our message is “please stay out for your own safety”.

“If people are found in there then they have to expect to be arrested for criminal damage, theft or being found in enclosed premises.

“They could find themselves unknowingly committing various offences.

“It is not the place to come for a day or night out.”

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:44pm Tue 22 Apr 14

behonest says...

"If people are found in there then they have to expect to be arrested for ..... being found in enclosed premises."
“They could find themselves unknowingly committing various offences."

Typical of the way this country has gone in recent years. Liable to arrest now, just for playing in an empty, unused, eyesore of a building. Something many of us did as kids. And if it is only people trespassing, surely that is a civil offence and the police should not be wasting their time and our money by getting involved. Leave it to the land owners to sort out. If the owners are holding on to this monstrosity, hoping for planning permission, then they should monitor it, not the police.

And I wouldn't be surprised if it was haunted. Perhaps by some of the souls of the poor kids that were badly abused and beaten by the religious nutcases that used to run that awful place.
"If people are found in there then they have to expect to be arrested for ..... being found in enclosed premises." “They could find themselves unknowingly committing various offences." Typical of the way this country has gone in recent years. Liable to arrest now, just for playing in an empty, unused, eyesore of a building. Something many of us did as kids. And if it is only people trespassing, surely that is a civil offence and the police should not be wasting their time and our money by getting involved. Leave it to the land owners to sort out. If the owners are holding on to this monstrosity, hoping for planning permission, then they should monitor it, not the police. And I wouldn't be surprised if it was haunted. Perhaps by some of the souls of the poor kids that were badly abused and beaten by the religious nutcases that used to run that awful place. behonest
  • Score: 16

9:09am Wed 23 Apr 14

MartinMo says...

Just bull doze it, a pile a rubble is less fun then an empty building.
Just bull doze it, a pile a rubble is less fun then an empty building. MartinMo
  • Score: 9

10:26am Wed 23 Apr 14

reasoned view says...

Is the ghost called Kevin Tuck?
Is the ghost called Kevin Tuck? reasoned view
  • Score: 0

8:34pm Thu 24 Apr 14

LUSTARD says...

believe me, if you go walking round that place with the amount of woodworm in the upper floor joists you will know about it if you go through them.
believe me, if you go walking round that place with the amount of woodworm in the upper floor joists you will know about it if you go through them. LUSTARD
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree