Ten Historic North Midlands Hotels
by Adrian Mourby (March 2013)
North of Birmingham rises the Peak District, an area of outstanding natural beauty - and architectural gems. It’s a pleasure to motor round this landscape of farms, villages, stately homes and historic towns like Duffield, Matlock Bath and Ashbourne. To the east of the Peaks the land falls away gradually towards the North Sea over the hunting flatlands of Lincolnshire and Leicestershire — and the tiny and intermittent rural county of Rutland, which has been abolished and reinstated more often than any other in Britain. Meanwhile in the middle of so much greenery Nottingham rises, an industrial city today but one that has been home to kings and dukes, and of course the legendary Robin Hood, in its time.
Showing below are all 5 records in "Ten Historic North Midlands Hotels"
Standard Hill, Park Row, Nottingham
Hart’s is a new hotel built on a rampart of Nottingham Castle. Although the lower gate house of the old castle (with its Robin Hood statue) still stands, the upper wards were rebuilt as a ducal mansion in the seventeenth century and as Nottingham Royal Infirmary in the nineteenth. The mansion is now a museum and the infirmary is now mainly offices, plus Hart’s own highly successful restaurant, which opened in 1998 inside what, had formerly been part of Accident and Emergency.
Hambleton Hall was built in 1881 as a hunting “box”, a place where a wealthy English family could pass the winter hunting and shooting. Walter Marshall, a successful brewer, chose this site because it was in pole position for four different hunts including the Quorn. Over the entrance Mr Marshall had the motto of the Hellfire Club incised: Fay Ce Que Voudras – Do Whatever You Please. On his death in 1899 Marshall's hall passed to his sister who hosted a salon of young wits – including Malcom Sargeant and Noel Coward – at Hambleton. The hall only became a hotel in 1979.
Maker Lane, Yoxall, Burton upon Trent
The first Hoar Cross Manor was built here during the reign of Henry VI. It was demolished in 1740 and the land sold to Sir Hugo Meynell, the godfather of modern fox-hunting. In 1793 Meynell built a hunting lodge at Hoar Cross and in 1806 his son Hugo spent many years extending it to create the current mock Tudor mansion with its 48 chimneys and Elizabethan-style long gallery. The Meynells spared no expense. Both the plasterwork by George Frederick Bodley and the wallpapers by William Morris are greatly admired today. In 1990 the flamboyant self-made millionaire Steve Joynes restored the hall and converted into a hotel by adding its spa wing.
Lose Hill Lane, Edale Road, Hope, Hope Valley
The Countrywide Hillwalkers Association was set up in 1893 to encourage the people of Britain’s cities into the fresh air that surrounded them. In what is now the Peak District National Park, the CHA built this “permanent guest house” in 1914 for weekend ramblers. Given the taste of CHA members, it was designed in the Arts & Crafts style to maximise views of Lose Hill and it was kept open all year round. By 1919 Lose Hill House was receiving over 2,000 guests a year. It was converted into a hotel in 2003 with the addition of very un-CHA facilities like ensuite rooms, sauna, swimming pool and hot tub.
Walmley Road, Sutton Coldfield
The original hall on this moated site was built by the Earl of Mercia who was executed by William the Conqueror in 1071. Other owners have included the Earls of Warwick, King Henry I and Sir John Lizours who in 1341 was the first person to use the name New Hall. Over the centuries towers and a Great Chamber have been added and a moat has been dug. Even today access to the hotel is over one of three bridges. Sympathetically converted into a hotel in 1988, New Hall still has many oak-panelled nooks and crannies that feel truly ancient.
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