Yorkshire stately home near Fountains Abbey to become hotel and wellness retreat

Grantley Hall
Grantley Hall

A Georgian country house near Ripon will open this spring as a luxury hotel and wellness retreat.

Grade II-listed Grantley Hall has a colourful history and its current owners have spent the past four years converting the building into a hotel and spa complex with a focus on wellbeing.

Plans to turn Grantley Hall into country house hotel revealed
It's set to open to guests in June and will have seven restaurants and bars, employ 160 staff and boast nearly 50 bedrooms. The plans include the restoration of its Japanese garden, which was laid out in 1910.

The Three Graces Spa includes an 18-metre indoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy pools. steam room, sauna and snow room. The executive gym and fitness centre, called Elite, has spinning, yoga and pilates studios, a cryotherapy chamber, altitude training facilities, an underwater treadmill and 3D body analysis scanners.

Guests can enjoy fine dining, a pan-Asian restaurant, and a champagne and cocktail bar. Grantley Hall can also be booked for weddings.

The hall has had a number of glamorous owners during its history. It was built on the banks of the River Skell in the mid-18th century for the Norton family. The third Lord Grantley, Fletcher Norton, was wounded in the Battle of Waterloo, while the fifth Lord Grantley scandalously married his cousin's wife after being named in a divorce case.

In 1900 the Nortons sold up to Sir Christopher Furness, a businessman who had risen from humble beginnings to found a shipping line. It was his wife, Lady Jane, who created the Japanese garden which survives today. The hall passed to their son Marmaduke, who married three times, and he in turn sold it to Bradford carpet baron Sir William Aykroyd in 1925.

The well-connected Aykroyds hosted Queen Mary and her daughter Princess Mary, who had married into the Lascelles family of Harewood House, in 1937. During World War Two, the house became a convalescent home for injured soldiers. After Sir William's death in 1947 it was sold to West Riding County Council, who used it for an adult residential college. It had several private owners before being purchased by current owners the Sykes family in 2010.