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History

Best Western Beamish Hall has a long, illustrious and, at times, chequered history. Starting life in the 12th century, the hall was initially constructed by the Charron family, French aristocracy who were gifted the estate land, alongside the surrounding area, as a thank you for helping William the Conqueror invade England successfully. Built originally as a fortified farmhouse, the estate controlled all the nearby small villages, towns and hamlets, dispensing justice as the proverbial 'Lords of the Manor.' 

Five generations of the Charron & Monboucher families occupied Beamish Manor, as it was then called, with the direct line of the family dying out in 1400, at which point the estate passed through the hands of many Northern aristocratic families, including the Percy Family, the Earl of Northumberland, whose primary seat, Alnwick Castle is well within a day trip of Beamish Hall.
 

It is during the Percy's time when Beamish Estate, in its entirety, was forefitted to the crown as a consequence of his part in the failed Rising of the North, 1569, and the hall then passed to the Wray family.


The Wray family greatly extended the hall, according to the architectural fashions of the time, in the early 17th century, and the hall changed hands again in 1693 to the then Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Timothy Davison, a wealthy merchant looking to obtain & create a family estate.

Additional building work took place in the early 18th century and the Davison family married into the Eden family who further down the line married in to the Shafto family, each family adding on various entertaining spaces to the hall, to create the hall we have today which offers architectural glimpses into the Edwardian, Victorian, Georgian and Elizabethan times.

Post World War Two and, with the introduction of death duty, Beamish Hall was taken from the Shafto family in lieu of non-payment of death duties, as many large estates were at this time, and the remaining family members removed to Bavington Hall in Northumberland. It is at this point where, after 700 years of history as a private home, the hall began a new and varied chapter being used by Durham Coal Board as headquarters, Durham County Council, used for school retreats & educational purposes before being obtained by a very new Beamish Museum. After the museum moved to a new site, (next door!), the hall passed into the hands of one hotelier before being purchased & transformed by the Craggs family who own and run the hotel as it stands today, returned to the ownership of one family.

 

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Beamish, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 0YB
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