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.)
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."
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.
Themed Nights at Abbot Hall Hotel & Willersley Castle in 2016
Enjoy great food, great entertainment, and a great night’s sleep on one of our fabulous Themed Evenings.
Enjoy a delicious dinner, followed by themed entertainment, a comfy bed for the night, and a hearty breakfast to start the next day – all for just £39 per person!
24th April: Best of British - Abbot Hall Hotel
8th May: Best of Cumbria - Abbot Hall Hotel
5th June: Italian Night - Abbot Hall Hotel
8th May: 1940s Night - Willersley Castle Hotel
10th July: 'Through the Decades' - Willersley Castle Hotel
14th August: Best of Derbyshire
At the end of 2015 Doug Emms retired as Hosting Secretary. The former House Director of Moorlands fulfilled 15 years in office as the Hosting Secretary, as well as undertaking the role on five previous occasions
A very big thank you to everyone who took part in our Centenary Quiz, and who, in the process, supported the important work of the Nigeria Health Care Project. Congratulations to our winner – Mrs. Audrey Evans of Peterborough – who wins a week’s holiday for two at any of our hotels in 2016. Two runners up received a free weekend break and a free superior room upgrade, and every correct entrant will also receive a £30 discount off the next holiday they book with us.