A Rich Heritage

History of Grantley Hall

Dating back to the 17th century, the original Hall was built by Thomas Norton to celebrate his marriage.

The Hall 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 multimillionaire shipping magnate, Sir Christopher Furness, in 1900.

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 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 Robert Aykroyd, a carpet manufacturer from Bradford in 1925. Sir Robert was High Sherriff of Yorkshire and during his time in residence, entertained Queen Mary in 1937.

During this century, Grantley Hall was given over to the war effort as a convalescence home for injured soldiers and proudly welcomed Vera Lynn as she sang to the troops. Upon Sir Robert’s death, the estate was sold to West Riding County Council who ran the Hall as an adult training centre which was hugely successful.

The current owner bought Grantley Hall in 2015. Like many old houses Grantley Hall has a myriad of tales to tell; it has hosted royalty, Members of Parliament and famous entertainers, and has been painted by many artists including LS Lowry, best known for his industrial landscape works.