in September 2008 Bodysgallen Hall North Wales, Hartwell House Aylesbury (long leasehold from the Ernest Cook Trust), and Middlethorpe Hall York, the three properties of Historic House Hotels, became the inalienable property of the NATIONAL TRUST, by donation, with all profits henceforward benefiting the houses and the charity.
BODYSGALLEN HALL is a Grade I listed house, set in its estate of 220 acres of gardens, parkland and farmland, two miles from Llandudno with views to Conwy Castle, Snowdonia and the sea. It was originally built in 1250 as an outlying watchtower to Conwy Castle, whilst the rest of the house was built between 1620 and 1900. Its gardens defined by walled compartments include a parterre, and a woodland garden with a terrace overlooking Conwy Castle and Snowdonia. As an hotel it offers fifteen bedrooms in the main hall and sixteen cottage suites, meeting rooms, Spa and a renowned restaurant.
HARTWELL HOUSE is a Grade I listed Jacobean and Georgian House (leasehold until 2111 from the Ernest Cook Trust), two miles west of Aylesbury, surrounded by ninety acres of gardens and parkland. These include many garden buildings, the iconography of which relate, like those at nearby Stowe, to 18th Century Whig Country House Politics. The most famous resident of Hartwell was the exiled King of France, Louis XVIII, with his court from 1809 to 1814. The hotel has 46 bedrooms and suites, The Old Rectory, meeting rooms, a restaurant and a Spa.
MIDDLETHORPE HALL, built in 1699 is a perfect, symmetrical, red brick and stone house set in twenty acres next to York Racecourse, actually within the city of York, It was rescued in 1980 after an undignified decade as a nightclub, and its surrounding land was reacquired gradually over the next decade. It is a green oasis, which is both of the city and the country: as an hotel it is similar to the other two properties, and has 30 bedrooms and suites.
On 24th September 2008 the directors of Historic House Hotels gave the company and its interest in all its properties to the National Trust, to continue their present style of hotel keeping under the existing management and all the present directors of Historic House Hotels for the benefit of the National Trust, with all profits going to the charity.
The company was established thirty years ago with the intention of providing a secure new use for country houses at risk, ultimately to become the property of the National Trust forever. In 1997 the National Trust accepted restrictive covenants over the three properties, as a half way step.
The motivation for the gift is to ensure that the houses and their land are kept safe forever, protected from inappropriate development, and continue to be maintained to their present high standards.
The houses and gardens are of course already accessible to the public as hotels, and welcome guests to stay, to dine in their restaurants, and to have afternoon tea (booking strongly advised). All paying guests to the hotels are welcome to walk in the gardens and parks.
Now, we welcome you, our guests, to enjoy this theme of country house excellence and comfort, which also dictates our style of hotelkeeping and food, with only very few allowances to be made for the fact that the building is more than 300 years old.
Click to download the PDF:
THE HISTORIC HOUSE HOTELS OF THE NATIONAL TRUST (pdf)