When you visit Woolley Grange, you’ll find reminders of its history all around. For generations, families have lived in comfort and luxury here while the world changed around them.
Look above the great front door to see the date 1665 and the initials FR, carved to mark previous owner Francis Randolph. Stay in the John Baskerville suite and look for the spot where 15-year-old John wrote his name on the window in 1760.
Woolley is impressive, but never fear, this isn’t a showpiece or museum. Fun isn’t just allowed; it’s encouraged. Come on in, make yourselves at home, and enjoy some family time.
The home of the Baskervilles
The grange’s story begins with the Randolph family in the late 16th century. When the first Francis Randolph died, he left behind a comfortably furnished home with cushions, carpets and feather beds, though nothing on the scale of the house today. The ground floor had just three rooms: a hall, parlour and kitchen.
In 1726, the house – by this time described as a mansion – was sold to the Baskerville family (of no connection to Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, thankfully). The Baskervilles operated as clothiers, making their money from the manufacture of cloth. They certainly took their work home with them: by the end of the 18th century, a factory stood on the site of the present-day kitchen garden.
As the years passed and Woolley Grange’s owners grew richer, they extended and improved their home to make it what it is today. The east and west wings were added in the 18th century, along with the summerhouse and terrace balustrade.
When the Baskerville line ended, Woolley passed into the Viveash family, who leased it out. It hasn’t always served as a home, however. During the Second World War, the house was an antenatal hostel for mothers evacuated from London. With the formation of the NHS in 1948, the Coach House became the first ever NHS ambulance station.
In 1988, following a period of neglect by tenants, Nigel and Heather Chapman bought Woolley Grange for use as a country house hotel. Its success sparked the beginning of the Luxury Family Hotels brand, which now encompasses seven unique historic properties.
Luxury Family Hotels
As the original Luxury Family Hotel, Woolley Grange has long been dedicated to family friendly holidays. Here, luxury takes on a different form to that enjoyed by the Baskervilles and Randolphs. Tucked within the walled garden is a custom-built spa with sauna, steam room and swimming pool, open to all ages. Our approach to mealtimes is likely to be different too: these can be shared or intimate, with a choice of flexible family time or fine dining.
For children, Woolley is an adventure playground. Outdoors, there’s a dedicated Good Life Garden – complete with play sheds and a tractor – a grass maze (summer time only), fairy garden, and climbing frame. Within the hotel is the Woolley Bears Den: an Ofsted-registered children’s club with baby facilities, books, games and dressing up. And of course, no country estate is complete without its dogs. The hotel is a place for families – including pets – to enjoy time spent together and apart.
We know that luxury is in the detail. We love to constantly surprise our guests with the little things that count: whether that’s our complimentary baby listening service, a Sunday morning lie-in, or the home-grown produce in our restaurant. And with everything taken care of, all you need to do is book, pack and look forward to your time together.