Reasons to Visit

The History of Mitton Hall


Mitton Hall is the finest Tudor Mansion to be seen in the Ribble Valley. Built at the end of the 15th Century in the reign of Henry VII, the first Tudor monarch, this beautifully preserved house has attracted the attention of historians and artists alike over the years.


In the Beginning

In 1189, three centuries before the current house was built, the manor of Little Mitton was granted to Sir Ralphe de Little Mitton and a house was constructed on the site. In 1309 it became the property of Alan de Catterall and remained the home of the Catterall family for over two centuries.

Mitton Hall as we know it was built by Ralph de Catterall in 1487. Over the following centuries it passed to several eminent families: the Sherbournes of Stoneyhurst, the Beaumonts and then the Aspinalls of Standen Hall.

During the Second World War, the Hall was used to house the officers of the Third Field Training Regiment and dances were held in the upstairs ballroom. In the latter part of the 20th Century the house ceased to be used as a private residence and was instead converted firstly into a club and later a hotel and restaurant.


Inside the House

The crowning glory of Mitton Hall is the magnificent oak-panelled Great Hall which the celebrated historian of Whalley, the Rev. T.D.Whitaker described as ”one of the finest gothic rooms that I have ever seen in a private house.” Along with a painted glass bay window the room features a beautifully carved screen set out in panels on which are ten heads, male and female, placed within medallions with the inscription D.H.T.H.T.H. The lettering appears to come from the reign of Edward VI and Whitaker concludes that these must have been brought over by the Holts of Griselhurst who owned the house in the 18th Century. A minstrel’s gallery runs eight feet above the floor, and the West wall features an original stone fireplace containing a priest hole which was only discovered relatively recently in 1874.


Outside the House

The Tudor custom of building houses to face South means that Mitton Hall overlooked marshland and has its best views from the back. Behind the house are fifteen acres of gardens with stone terraces and staircases leading to the River Ribble and forming part of what the historian R.D. Ainsworth described as “one of the prettiest landscapes in the valley.” For many years the grounds were a celebrated feature of the estate, with rose gardens, vegetable gardens and greenhouses and it was only in the second half of the 20th Century that they were allowed to become overrun.


Mitton Hall Time Line

1189 – Manor of Little Mitton granted by Robert de Lacy to Sir Ralphe de Little Mitton

1200’s – Passed to John de Pontechardon

1272 – Richard de Pontechardon

1309 – Passed to Alan de Catterall via his marriage to Lorna de Pontechardon daughter of Richard

1321 – Alan de Caterall dies. Mitton Hall is passed down the Caterall line

1400’s – Richard de Caterall

1487 – Ralph de Caterall son of Richard builds the present house, originally with stone basement and upper timbers

1515 – John de Caterall

1579 – Passed to Robert Sherbourne of the Stoneyhurst ancestral home via his marriage with Thomas de Caterall’s daughter Dorothy

1651 – Robert Sherbourne. Thomas Sherbourne died 1664

1664 – Sold by Thomas’s heir Richard to Alexander Holt, a goldsmith from London and descended from The Holts of Grislehurst

1831 – Passed to the Beaumont family by the marriage of Elizabeth Holt to Richard Beaumont

1840 – Passed to John Aspinall of Standen Hall

1844 – Major part of the house rebuilt. John Potter in residence

1874 – Ralph John Aspinall undertakes further extensions. John Hicks MP for Bolton in residence

1880 – Ballroom built. House is used as a farmhouse, celebrated for the excellence of it’s cheese

1918 – Taken over by Horatio Bottomley, managing director of Duttons Brewery in Blackburn

1938 – Bottomley dies, his sister Edith continues to live there

1940 – House becomes HQ for the officers of the Third Field Regiment

1945 – AH Birtwistle of Allied Mills takes over

1960 – Birtwistle leaves and the house remains empty for a few years

1967 – Wilfred Burill, Owner of the Dunkenhalgh opens an exclusive club with swimming pool and casino

1980 – Bought by Guy’s Eating Establishment and made into hotel and restaurant

1999 – Bought by Bocholt Developments Ltd. and returned to it’s original name “Mitton Hall” with extensive re-furbishments to the bedrooms and landscaping of the severely neglected gardens

2007 – Bought by Emporia Leisure (James’ Places) and restored, re-invented and re-born into what it is today!