Oulton is a village in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, West Yorkshire, England, between Leeds and Wakefield. It is at the junction of the A639 and A642 roads. Though now adjoining the village of Woodlesford, it was once quite separate...
, West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972....
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
was originally a stately home with extensive grounds and gardens which are now the golf course. It spent a short period of time as a mental health institute but is now a 4 star hotel. Oulton Hall once advertised itself as "The Only Five Star Golf Resort In The North", but has since repositioned itself as a four star deluxe property to serve the current market conditions.
Built in 1851 to replace an earlier house destroyed in a fire. Designed by Sydney Smirke
Sydney Smirke, architect, was born in London, England, the younger brother of Sir Robert Smirke, also an architect. Their father, also Robert Smirke, had been a well-known 18th Century painter.Sydney Smirke's works include:...
. After the owners left in the 1930s, the house was requisitioned by the military during WW2. It is now one of the chain of DeVere Hotels.
Oulton Hall was originally owned by the Blayds family in the mid 18th century and was built up into a substantial estate. The house was then left to John Caverley who made two significant additions to the estate. Firstly he had the parkland around the house landscaped. Within the house he commissioned the architect Sir Robert Smirke
Sir Robert Smirke was an English architect, one of the leaders of Greek Revival architecture his best known building in that style is the British Museum, though he also designed using other architectural styles...
to design a library and drawing room. His other lasting legacy was the provision left in his will for a church to be built at the bottom of the drive, which is still in use today.
After a major fire in 1850 the Hall was remodelled and the Great Hall and Minstrel's Gallery was built, but the Hall's fortunes then went into decline.
In World War 1 the house was used as a hospital and convalescence home for wounded soldiers and in 1925 the Hall and grounds were sold to the county council who used it as a mental hospital until 1971. Oulton Hall changed hands again at this point, but due to lack of resources of the new owner it fell into disrepair.
In 1991 De Vere Hotels acquired the lease and rescued the Hall. £20 million has been spent on restoration and expansion and the Hall has been transformed into a luxurious hotel set on a beautiful 300 acre estate boasting gold medal winning gardens, 27 holes of golf, an award winning fine dining room, and a 5 star spa experience.