Historic Steeton Hall – which closed last summer – has been sold.

Punch Taverns, which put the landmark property on the market in September, confirmed contracts had been exchanged.

But the pub company is remaining tight-lipped over the identity of the new owner.

Rumours circulating locally suggest the Grade II-listed building could revert to being a hotel, or may once again become a family home.

“I have heard various reports but nothing definite,” said Councillor David Mullen, chairman of Steeton-with-Eastburn Parish Council.

“The building is on a main entry to the village and has already got pretty decrepit, and the longer it stands empty the more of a vandalism risk it becomes, so something does need to be done with it.”

Craven ward district councillor, Andrew Mallinson, said he was not surprised it had been sold.

“The building is ideally located for the Tour de France, which will pass very close by when it comes to the area this summer,” he added. “If it opened as a hotel again now the accommodation would be snapped-up in no time.”

Fellow ward councillor, Adrian Naylor, said the site needed to be brought back into use. “It’s an historic place and I would hate to see it deteriorate,” he added.

“It would be ideal for reopening as a pub/restaurant, but people would have to support it to ensure its survival.”

Steeton Hall and its grounds were of huge importance to Keighley’s Girlguiding movement for many years.

Dorothy Clough, whose parents owned the hall, offered the organisation use of the house and site following their deaths. It was used for weekly meetings, weekend and residential training, camps and major rallies.

The Station Road building was converted into a hotel and restaurant in 1983.

It was run under temporary management from April last year following the sudden departure of the previous tenant.

The site was put on the market on a freehold basis for £795,000 by joint agents CBRE and Westlake & Co, which subsequently dropped the price to £725,000 in a bid to generate more interest.

A Punch Taverns spokesman said this week: “We can confirm contracts have been exchanged and we expect the sale to complete by the end of the month.”