A History of Abbot Hall
It is believed that the monks of Furness Abbey bought the land, and built the first Abbot Hall in or around 1160. This would have been used as a place to rest on the journey from Furness to Lancashire via Morecambe Bay. There are no remains left of this medieval building. After the dissolution of the monasteries Abbot Hall became a private residence. A new mansion was built on the site in the 17th century, again there is nothing left of this building either. The present building was built in 1840. The new Abbot Hall has been a family mansion, a school and now a hotel. (In 1942 taken over by the Civil Defence.)
Owners Past and Present
The Barrow Family 1604 250 years +
Mrs Carter Died and left it to Miss Lambert (niece)
Mr James Simpson Young 1858 - 1876
Mrs Frances Blair 1876 - 1883
Revd Henry Smith 1883 - 1889
Mr Hubert Lowery (School) 1889 - 1903
Jonathan Uttley 1903 - 1915
The Wesley Guild 1915 - Present day
(The Wesley Guild became Methodist Guild Holidays, now trading as Christian Guild.)
How it once Was
Abbot Hall was rebuilt in 1840 by one of the wealthiest ladies in Cartmel, Miss Lambert. A large extension as added in 1868. This addition was the tower, The back stair case and the south-west wing and an extension to the stables.
In 1915 the Abbot Hall Estate was described as follows:
“This valuable and compact freehold residential property is situated at Kents Bank, near Grange-over-Sands, in the North Lonsdale Division of North Lancashire; close to Kents Bank Station on the Furness railway; 2 miles from the well-known health resort of Grange-over-Sands; 7 miles by rail from the market town of Ulverston; 2 miles from Cartmel; 2 miles from Holker Hall and Park, and 7 miles by road from Lakeside, Windermere; easily accessible from Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bradford, and other large commercial centres of Lancashire and Yorkshire, and within 6 hours of London.
Abbot Hall is a commodious and well-appointed family mansion of substantial construction and attractive elevation, fitted with modern conveniences and wee adapted for a family position.
The residence is situated in the midst of picturesque and well wooded grounds near to the sea, facing south, well screened and protected from the north and east by rising ground and hanging woods, and commanding extensive and interesting views over Morecambe Bay and the Westmoreland and Yorkshire hills.”
The house was described as:
On the ground floor, as having a lofty Entrance Hall, handsome Dining Room, Library, Drawing Room, Conservatory, Billiard Room, WC and Lavatory, Business Room or Office and a Strong Room.
The Domestic offices, “which were conveniently placed and shut off”, compromise a large and well appointed Kitchen, Scullery, Butlers Pantry, Larder, etc. In the Basement there were two Binned Wine Cellars, Beer Cellars, and Keeping Cellars fitted with stone slabs.
On the first floor, “ approached two wide and easy rising oak staircases,” were five bedrooms, Dressing room, WC, commodious day and night Nurseries with two rooms above.
On the second floor in the tower wing there was a Bachelor’s Bedroom with a Bathroom and WC, and on the third floor, a small study from which the Tower Room is reached by a spiral staircase. In addition there were two large attic rooms.
There was also a Stable Yard, Harness Room, four stall Stable and loosebox with a hay loft, Granary and workshop above. Four stall stable with large laundry room above, and on the west side commodious Coach House, and WC. Beyond the stable yard there is another small yard leading to Dog Kennels and other out buildings.