Middleton Hall is a truly unique mansion house draped in a rich history that’s immediately tangible from the moment you arrive. Every inch of it seems to have a story to tell as its ornate extravagance invites you in.
The story of the Hall can be split into four distinct chapters. More is known about some than others but all offer fitting insight into the true character of Middleton Hall:
Chapter 1 – (1107-1302)
The first documented history of the land on which Middleton Hall now sits dates back to 1107 and to the De Muschamp family. The De Muschamp’s originate from the Calvodos area of France and can be connected lineally to such prominent historical figures as George I, Winston Churchill and Princess Diana.
Through the following two centuries, the land was passed down through the generations until it became the property of David Le Mareschal. In 1302, due to De Mareschal’s part in the Scottish uprising, King Edward III punished him by taking possession of the land on which Middleton Hall now stands.
Chapter 2 – (1335-1821)
On the 13th of September 1335 William de Pressen headed an ambush on the Earl of Moray and was duly rewarded with the land of Middleton. Fatefully perhaps, De Pressen was a descendent of the De Muschamp family and Middleton was temporarily back where it belonged.
By 1415, the land was in the hands of Thomas Lilburn and it’s only now that records document the first steps towards the creation of Middleton Hall. It seems that two towers were built, the remains of which can still be found alongside the burn.
By 1821, Middleton estate was owned by Stephen F. Gillum who had family connections to the famous naturalist Prideaux Selby from Twizell. Gillum sold the estate in 1857 and it’s this historic change of hands that began its journey towards the Hall we see today.
Chapter 3 – (1857-2008)
John Towlerton Leather was the man who bought the estate in 1857 and he’s generally referred to as ‘The father of Middleton’. John found the place an inspiration and continued to purchase the surrounding land as well as adding a large Tudor wing to the existing two storey farmhouse.
The two lakes currently at the Hall were both built by Gerard. These led to the redirection of the original road which can still be seen in the wood near The Boathouse.
The last ‘Leather’ to own the Middleton estate was Captain Ralph Towlerton Leather who inherited it in 1941. As with Frederick, he had no interest in Middleton and duly sold it to the Greenwich Hospital Trust in 1945. Ralph allowed his uncle, John Walters Leather, to stay on at the hall as a house guest. During his time there, the staff and many local residents believed John to be Lord of the Manor and he was treated as such until his passing in 1966.
Chapter 4 – (2008 – and beyond)
The next chapter in the history of Middleton Hall is its transformation into a luxury holiday hotel embracing the future simply by staying true to the original vision of John Towlerton Leather. His passion and commitment is reflected in every inch of Middleton Hall.
The present hall has been passionately and carefully restored to its former glory through a total commitment of its owners Mr and Mrs Brian Morton who are steadfastly behind the restoration of not only the hall but its grounds and surrounding buildings enhancing the maximising of its rural situation.