This was a repeat visit to this fantastic hotel. It is a trip back to the far far past and we enjoyed being seeped in history.
Not a hotel for the professional or the perfectionist looking for faultless and 100% efficiency but if you appreciate our heritage this is a true gem.
We had the Catherine of Aragon room, fantastically atmospheric but with a large bathroom inc shower cubicle and flat screen tv which did not detract from the overall feel of the room.
The main building is a former hunting lodge of Henry VIII, allegedly, and latterly home to the local gentry and the Monk family who ran the West Auckland Brewery. The outbuildings, now extra rooms, were the brewery at one time.
The residents lounge is fantastic since they moved the public bar from the to the outbuildings. The old fireplace and beehive oven are now well displayed and the room is very pleasant and comfortable. Sadly it now lacks the facility of a bar and the makeshift counter and restricted stock lets it down. On the afternoon the efficient staff member had a pint of my choice brought quickly over from the bar but four hours later with a change of shift this was not on offer. They also ran out of the bottled beer I was drinking and displayed a take it or leave it attitude with the poor choice of alternative. Please get the bar situation sorted in this diamond of a room.
Food was very impressive as usual but staff are in need of experience, and supervision from someone who knows what to do. Also breakfast was great but with no seating plan a family of three were sent away until a table became free, very bad form.
There are ample tables available to cater but planning is missing. You can not dictate when people will arrive for breakfast and if they all come at once a plan would save the day.
All in all however we got what we wanted from this hotel, a feel of the old, worn, bent and crooked character of an authentic historical building. We will return.
Just for the record and to respond to scathing and untrue comments, the hotel is not in the middle of a housing estate, it stands just off the main A68 road which slices through the middle of the village of West Auckland. This village is a typical ex colliery community, very insular and engrossed in its own activity. It is not equipped for tourists and frankly the residents have no intrerest in such. That said however the place has its niches in history.
Just a few doors along from the hotel is the house where the serial killer Mary Ann Cotton was arrested before being taken to Durham Jail and hanged. She moved to WA in 1871 and within two years her husband, a lover, her baby and two stepsons had died . She became a carer to a man called Quick-Manning and married him. He was an Excise Officer for West Auckland Brewery, (Yes the Manor House Hotel). Suspicion mounted and led to her demise on the gallows on 24th March 1873. She was suspected of 14 or 15 murders in and around County Durham and in twenty years, 21 people close to her died prematurely....
West Auckland Football Club are recognised as the first winners of the World Cup. In 1909 they went to Italy representing England and won the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy beating Swiss team FC Winterthur 2-0 in the final. Two years later they repeated the feat beating Juventus 6-1 in the final and retained the trophy. A copy is exhibited in the local Working Mens Club. Unfortunately the original was stolen in 1994 and never recovered.
West Auckland village green is purported to be the largest village green in europe.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Manor House Hotel is a quintessential Jacobean grade one listed hotel, with 35 comfortably furnished and well equipped bedrooms, all offering free use of our Health Club. The Restaurant serves fresh, seasonal & local food to residents and non-residents alike. The hotel is also an ideal venue for weddings, conferences & events for up to 120 guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Manor House Hotel Durham/West Auckland