The Whitworth Hall Estate dates from 1183 AD from which time it was owned by “The Lords of Whitworth” for almost 300 years. In 1652, Whitworth came by purchase into the possession of Mark Shafto, a lawyer from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
The History of Whitworth Hall
For over 300 years, from 1652 to 1981, an unbroken secession of 12 Shafto generations lived at Whitworth. The most notable of these was Bonnie Bobby Shafto, made famous by the well known ballad, who held the estate for 55 years from 1742 to 1797. There were several Shafto seats in the North East of England, but Whitworth was the onle one to be home to this most well known member of the family.
Whitworth Hall was one of the best family mansions in the county, but was largely destroyed by fire in 1876. One of the few portions to be saved was the library, now The Library Restaurant and the oldest part of the Whitworth Hall Hotel. The hall remained in ruins until 1891, when the original three story hall was rebuilt as the current two story building.
The Whitworth estate was sold in the 1980’s by Robert Edward Duncombe Shafto and remained a private dwelling until 1997 when the Grade II listed hall was converted to the Hotel in its current form.
The Haunted History of Whitworth Hall
The staff at the hotel had told us a number of tales concerning what they had experienced at their time within the hall. The corridor leading to the Library Restaurant would inexplicably go cold when somebody walked along it while the Restaurant itself seemed to be a hive of activity. Stories of a man who had been seen sitting at one of the tables were told to us by a few of the staff, books would fall off the shelves in the Restaurant for no reason – at one time hitting a guest.
All the staff told us of their unease in both room 6 and concerning the corridor at stairs near to the linen room which was close by. Nobody enjoyed going in these locations and certainly not when they were alone. A member of staff who once worked at the hotel had felt her legs give way whilst on the stairs and had fell. Perhaps a coincidence.