The entrance facade
Roofline of the entrance facade
The garden facade
Built / Designed For: Thomas Barlow
House & Family History: Middlethorpe Hall is a pleasing, perfectly symmetrical mellow red brick and limestone William and Mary country house. Built between 1699 and 1701 for Thomas Barlow, a prosperous master cutler, the house was Barlow's vehicle in his bid to catapult himself into the ranks of the Yorkshire gentry. Like many houses of the period, Middlethorpe, whose architect is unknown, was influenced in its design by Sir Christopher Wren, especially his Hampton Court Palace, which has a similar pattern of red brick, white sash windows, stone quoins, and window surrounds. The seven-bay north façade (today's main entrance) is surmounted by a stone eagle, the Barlow family crest; the pedimented porch over the front door is an early 19th century addition; the curved railings and gates were added during the 1980s restoration. The original main entrance was the south façade, which also sports an eagle, this one sitting on a raised stone parapet of three panels with carved festoons. The flanking wings were added in the mid-18th century by Francis Barlow, high sheriff of Yorkshire. In the 20th century Middlethorpe fell on hard times: it became a girls' boarding school and then had the indignity of serving as a nightclub for 10 years, its elegant walls painted black and its beauty left to moulder. In 1980 Middlethorpe was rescued by Richard Broyd, whose Historic House Hotels Limited restored the house to its 18th century splendor and created one of Britain's premier country house hotels. In 2008 Mr. Broyd donated all three country house hotels owned by Historic House Hotels (Bodysgallen Hall in Wales, Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire, and Middlethorpe Hall) to the National Trust, who continue to run and maintain them today, with all profits benefiting the Trust.
Garden & Outbuildings: Between 1980 and 1990 much of the estate's original land was reacquired, hundreds of new trees planted, the 17th century dovecote restored, the Kitchen Garden replanted, and the stables converted into luxury hotel rooms.
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat / Home of: Thomas Barlow, early 18th century; Francis Barlow, mid-18th century.
Current Ownership Type: The National Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Hotel
Ownership Details: Owned by the National Trust and operated by Historic House Hotels Ltd.