In 2015 Grantley Hall was purchased by its current owner, Valeria Sykes. Valeria is passionate about history and the arts and has a successful track record of restoring beautiful old country houses to their former glory and ensuring their history lives on. Equally passionate about her home county of Yorkshire, an important part of the Grantley Hall vision is to create a future legacy for this magnificent building, provide employment and career opportunities within the local area, and to support the local economy in our procurement of supplies and services where possible.
Dating back to the 17th century, Grantley Hall has a rich and colourful past and like many old houses has a myriad of tales to tell; it has hosted royalty, Members of Parliament, celebrities and socialites. It has also been painted by many artists including LS Lowry, best known for his industrial landscape works.
The original Hall was built by Thomas Norton to celebrate his marriage. The estate remained in the Norton family for over 200 years being passed down throughout the generations which included Lords, Barons and Members of Parliament, before being bought by the multi-millionaire shipping magnate Sir Christopher Furness in the 1900s. Sir Christopher instigated the building of the leat running parallel to the river Skell whilst his wife created one of the earliest Japanese gardens in the country. Lady Jane Furness was a very keen gardener and the gardens, using rocks from nearby Brimham Rocks, were constructed and formed during her time at the house. Their son, Marmaduke, a millionaire playboy of his time, sold the house to Sir William Aykroyd, a carpet manufacturer from Bradford in 1925.
Sir William was High Sheriff of Yorkshire and during his time in residence, entertained Queen Mary in 1937. During the Second World War, Grantley Hall was given over to the war effort as a convalescence home for injured soldiers and proudly welcomed Dame Vera Lynn as she sang to the troops.
Upon Sir William’s death, the estate was sold to West Riding County Council who ran the Hall as an adult training centre which was hugely successful. In 2006 the Hall was sold for use as a private residence but was often left vacant before being purchased by the current owner in 2015.