The building was designed in 1878 by architect Charles John Ferguson,
and was built (costing £22,000), in the 1880s, for Edwin Hodge Banks, whose family owned a small cotton mill and also Highmoor House in Wigton. He enjoyed the lifestyle of a wealthy country gentlemen, keeping his 30-foot steam yacht, The Neptune, moored nearby. In 1889 he was declared bankrupt and vanished from the area.
In 1898 all Bankses goods were transferred to George F Brown, who took over ownership of the house. The hotel has since passed through many hands. It was run by the government, as part of the Carlisle State Management Scheme between 1916 and 1971. After this period, it never really regained its original glory.
The hotel seemed to be going to be part of a channel 4 series, but I can't find any info on it apart from what it says here:-
In 2006 the hotel was closed and plans were submitted for the total demolition of the building together with the construction of a large new holiday complex. English Heritage refused to recommend that the building be listed, citing amongst other reasons that the presence of a stair tower made the hotel differ from the vernacular style. Allerdale Council refused the planning permission.
In 2007 the hotel was stripped and the fixtures and fittings sold at auction, including the staircase comprising cast iron decorative spindles and oak rail pillars which raised £1,600. A photo of the stairs and decription of some of the auctioned articles can be found here:- http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk/even-...th=home/2.3307
The hotel has had a large quantity of its contents auctioned or taken. Water is beginning to come through in a few of the upstairs rooms. It was a nice relaxed explore. I had great hopes after seeing the outside of the hotel, but I felt it was distinctly characterless inside and I was rather disappointed.
Anyway, on to some pics:-
The ballroom (This is in the new part of the building and I was thotoughly disappointed with this - I think I must have built it up in my mind after reading the reports in the papers)