Historial Hotels: A snapshot of Lake District History

Many of our member hotels in the Lake District have a long, colourful and interesting history. Have you ever wondered who has passed through the doors of these magnificent buildings? Many are hundreds of years old, and have welcomed an eclectic mix of residents from the rich to refugees! Here are a few historical insights for three impressive Lake District Hotels.

Storrs Hall, a beautiful grade II listed Georgian Mansion situated on the shores of Lake Windermere was first built in the 1790s. Its third owner Cumbrian born John Bolton, was one of the most successful self-made rich men of his generation, making his fortune from the slave trade.

Bolton was a socialite and used the mansion for flamboyant parties and regattas, entertaining many notable guests such as historian Sir Walter Scott, poet William Wordsworth and the writer of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter. The beautiful setting of Storrs Hall is rumoured to have inspired the famed lakeland writers. Beatrix Potter was a frequent guest and Wordsworth, during one of his visits recited his famous Daffodils in the drawing room.

Later in life, Beatrix Potter spent much of her time at another Lake District Hotel, Lindeth Howe. Beatrix illustrated the much loved characters Timmy Tiptoes and Pigling Bland while staying there. The hotel have copies of Beatrix’s correspondence with the Hotel from this period and use a copy of her handwriting of ‘Lindeth Howe’ as part of their logo today. Beatrix loved the property so much that in 1915, following the death of her father she bought Lindeth Howe for her mother to live in. Today the decor of the ground floor is inspired by the Peter Rabbit stories, full of vibrant colour with a stunning woodland theme.

Another Hotel, Armathwaite Hall, situated by the shores on Bassenthwaite Lake is one of the oldest, grandest, Lake District Hotels, incredibly it dates back to 1500! An original stately home of England it is set in 400 acres of park and woodland. The Highmore family owned the Hall between 1540 and 1748, during this time the romantic figure, Bonnie Prince Charlie, otherwise known as Prince Charles Edward Stuart visited. The Prince is best known for his defeat at the battle of Culloden in April 1746 this was the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745.

Later, in the 1920s the following the death of the owner the Manor of Bassenthwaite of which it was then known was sold off in various lots. The Hall itself, and the surrounding 133 acres was sold to the Wivell family for just £5,000! After refurbishment, the family opened as a Hotel. During the Wivells ownership Hunmanby Gap Girls School were evacuated to the hotel for refuge during the second World War. Today the Hall is owned by The Graves family, who have owned it for just over 40 years.

If you would like to look or stay at any of the hotels mentioned head over to our hotels page for more information and links.

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