Rich In History & Tradition
History Of The Netherwood Hotel & Spa
Read About The Long History Of This Luxury Hotel and Spa
The 19th Century
The Netherwood Hotel stands on the site of a mansion called “Blawith House”, which was built in Georgian times.
However, the history of the Netherwood hotel as we know it really begins in the late 19th century. This was a time when Grange-over-Sands was rapidly evolving from a fishing village to an upmarket seaside resort, thanks in the most part to the arrival of the railway in 1857.
This was a period when wealthy factory owners from Lancashire and Yorkshire were starting to build luxury villas and holiday homes in this “beautiful sea-bathing village”, which by this time had its own custom built hotels, hydropathic establishment and piers to take leisure steamers from Blackpool and Morecambe; all to cater for the increasing number of tourists discovering this “Torquay of the North”.
The Deakin Family
One of these wealthy industrial magnates was a cotton merchant from Bolton, by the name of George William Deakin. George had recently married his cousin, Maude Mary Dickinson, from the nearby “Eller Howe” estate, just outside Grange-over-Sands. Making the most of his wealth from the thriving Lancashire cotton industry, George decided to make his mark by demolishing the original mansion and replacing it with a new home for his wife and family.
Historical sources show a Deakin or Daykin family (probably distant ancestors of George) farming and selling hemp in the area. George emphasised these local ancestral links by choosing as his family motto “Strike, Daykin, the devil’s in the hemp”, which refers to an old local legend about the adventures of a “Squire Daykin”. This motto is displayed on his Coat of Arms, which can be seen around the hotel and in nearby Lindale parish church.
The New House
His new house was designed by the architects Willink and Thicknesse of Lancaster in the then fashionable neo-Elizabethan gothic style. The imposing sandstone building boasted exquisite interior oak panelling by Wareing and Gillows of Lancaster and intricate stained glass lead paned windows, which can still be seen today. The new house, “Blawith”, was completed in 1893.
And so, with his industrial wealth and grand new house, with its stunning landscaped and woodland gardens, by the turn of the century George William Deakin and his family were able to take their place in local society, hosting sumptuous society dinners and grand concerts.
Unfortunately this was not to last, as after George and Maude’s deaths, and the tragic death of their son in the Great War, the family sold “Blawith” in the 1930s.
The Netherwood Hotel
The next owners of what was to become the Netherwood Hotel, were the Misses Chalmers and Lawrence. These two ladies ran a guest house in Grange called “Netherwood”, which had recently suffered fire damage. Perhaps with an eye to the profits to be made from increasing popularity of the resort, they bought “Blawith” and transformed it into a hotel, which they renamed the “Netherwood Hotel” after their original guest house.
During the Second World War the hotel played host to a wonderfully diverse collection of guests, including army personnel and Jewish refugees.
After the war the hotel changed hands several times until in 1966 it was bought by the Fallowfield family, whose extensions and alterations saw the hotel take on its current form. In September 2015 the Netherwood was bought by The Squirrel Group, beginning the latest chapter in the history of this beautiful building.
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Lindale Road | Grange Over Sands | Cumbria. LA11 6ET