Goldsborough Hall is a Jacobean stately home located in the village of Goldsborough, North Yorkshire, England. It is a member of the Historic Houses Association. The house itself is a Grade II* listed building. The current Hall was built for Sir Richard Hutton (1560–1639) after he acquired the Goldsborough Estate in 1598. The original building still stands and is occupied as a private family home that is not open to the public. The Hall is available for bed and breakfast guest accommodation or exclusive hire for weddings and private functions.
A brief history of Goldsborough Hall
The house was built from 1601 to 1625 for Sir Richard Hutton, a prominent lawyer in London, who became High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1623. On his death, in 1639, the Hall passed to his son, also called Sir Richard Hutton. Sir Richard Hutton, the younger had been knighted by Charles I in 1625 and became one of two MPs for Knaresborough. He was High Sheriff of Yorkshire and Governor of Knaresborough Castle when the English Civil War broke out. During the Civil War, the house was forcibly occupied by Oliver Cromwell’s army in 1644 while they besieged Knaresborough Castle. Sir Richard Hutton, the younger fought at the battle of Marston Moor in 1644 and was killed at Sherburn-in-Elmet in 1645.
The hall passed to the Wharton family when Sir Richard's daughter, Elizabeth, married the Hon Philip Wharton. Her sister married Colonel Anthony Byerley of Middridge Grange. Their son Robert Byerley married Elizabeth and Philip's daughter, Mary Wharton in 1695. Robert Byerley was MP for County Durham and represented Knaresborough nine times between 1697 and 1710. He was a soldier and fought at the Battle of Buda in 1686 and the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. The story goes that Robert Byerley captured a fine brown horse at the Battle of Buda, the Byerley Turk, which is the eldest founding father to all thoroughbred horses. The Byerley Turk was buried at the Hall in 1706.
As Robert and Mary Byerley's five children all died without issue, the Hall was sold to Daniel Lascelles about 1756 and became part of the Harewood estate during the construction of Harewood House in the 1750s. The house was remodelled by John Carr and Robert Adam. The Hall remained within the Lascelles family for 200 years, being used as Dower House, the heirs-in-waiting house, a hunting lodge, or even rented out when not needed for the viscount, earl in waiting. In the late 19th century the hall was rented out to Sir Andrew Fairbairn, a Liberal MP, while he was building his country house at Askham Grange and the estate at Askham Richards.
The Hall became the first family home of Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood and Viscount Lascelles, Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood after their marriage in 1922. Their son, George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood was christened at the adjoining Goldsborough church on 25 March 1923, the service being attended by King George V and Queen Mary and presided over by Cosmo Lang, the Archbishop of York. The King and Queen visited their daughter and grandchildren George and Gerald Lascelles, and stayed at Goldsborough Hall on many occasions throughout the 1920s.
During World War II, Oatlands School, Harrogate (now the site of St Aidan's School) was stationed at the Hall. The owners of the school, the Boyer family, bought Goldsborough Hall from the Harewood estate in 1951. The rest of the village was sold at auction in 1952, ending 1,000 years of the estate village.
In 1966 the school closed and the Hanson family purchased the Hall and its land, reverting the Hall to a private house. Due to ill health, the Hansons had to sell the hall in 1977. It was sold to a Leeds-based developer, West and Sons, who further developed the Hall and, they, in turn sold the Hall to Mrs Elsie Sharpe-Day, who converted the building into a luxury country-house hotel that never opened.
In 1979 the Hall was acquired by Russell Stansfield Smith, who lived in the house as his family home before converting it into a 60-resident, 40-bedroom nursing home that opened in 1983. The Hall became the flagship of a group of nursing homes called Goldsborough Estates. In 1997 BUPA acquired Goldsborough Estates and looked at ways to bring the Hall to meet with modern standards in nursing practice. Due to the historic nature of the building, it was considered to be impractical and the Hall closed as a nursing home in May 2003 and was subsequently advertised for sale.
In 2005 the Hall was acquired by the Oglesby family who once more converted it back to a private family home.
Goldsborough Hall today
After being a nursing home for over 20 years and then empty for a further two years, the Hall required a vast amount of restoration and maintenance. The current owners have refurbished the main state rooms and second-floor bedrooms suites, in order to host private weddings, corporate functions and events along with luxury five star guest accommodation. The gardens, neglected for years, have been replanted in a Gertrude Jekyll style that befits their original creation in the time of Princess Mary. The gardens are open to the public for two days a year (March and July) under the National Gardens Scheme and two Snowdrop Days in February.