The fascinating history of a former hunting lodge

POSSIBLY the most historically important building in the Harrogate district is Bilton Hall, which stands just outside Starbeck at the end of Bilton Hall Drive which joins the Knaresborough Road at Forest Lane Head. Though much of what can be seen externally today dates from when the outside was re-modelled in the Tudor style during the second half of the 19th century, parts of the interior date from the late 14th century.

However, this week's picture is a copy of a drawing which pre-dates that Victorian refurbishment by over 200 years and shows Bilton Hall as it looked in 1623.

It was in 1380 that John of Gaunt, Lord of Knaresborough and son of Edward III, ordered the building of a new hunting lodge in Bilton Park that was held by the Crown until the park was sold by Charles I in 1628. Interestingly, parts of that original 1380 building are still in use today.


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