THE HISTORY OFDOXFORD HALL
The first reference to the parish of Doxford goes back to 1296 when a Thomas de Doxford was named in a muster roll and the Doxford family continued in the parish rolls until 1635 when Robert Doxford died childless and the estate was left to his cousin, Gilbert Swinhoe. The estate then passed through various hands, including the Brown’s of Callaly. By 1811 the estate had passed to Miss Mary Taylor, who left Doxford to her relation Henry Aynsley who subsequently changed his name to Henry Taylor. In 1817 he commissioned John Dobson, a Newcastle architect who became one of the most respected and sought after architects in the North-East, to build Doxford Hall, one of his earliest and finest houses which was completed in 1818.
Henry Taylor died without issue and the Hall and estate then passed through different owners, including the Brown’s of Callaly who made extensive alterations and were forced out in 1900 when the owners of nearby Ellingham Hall poisoned the water supply by placing a dead horse in the well.
The Hall was purchased by a Henry Percy Warren in 1901 who subsequently ended up in a lunatic asylum and was then bought by Lord Runciman. The Runciman’s made many alterations, the most lasting being the East Wing designed by the architects Mauchlen, Weightman and Elphick who were responsible for the lovely staircase topped by a carved owl, joining the north and east wings.
The Hall was sold in 1953 to Northumberland County Council and remained with them until Brian and Shirley Burnie purchased it in 1993. Due to the state of the structure extensive restoration was urgently required to make it habitable and after restoring the main Dobson part of the Hall, architects and engineers were commissioned to design and create a world-class hotel which opened to the public in 2008.
The hotel has formal gardens which guests are welcome to walk around, and a large yew tree maze planted in 2000 by local schoolchildren. Plans for the maze are available at Reception.
In 2010, Robert and Gina Parker purchased Doxford Hall and immediately set about renovating the original entrance, adding additional bedrooms and also a lounge / bar area for guests to enjoy and relax.
The Hotel boasts impressive function suites for your wedding or corporate event, a fine dining restaurant and the highest levels of accommodation. Now open, the extensive spa and leisure club offers health and beauty therapies, boasts a swimming pool, sauna, steam rooms and spa baths. Membership to Doxford Hall’s Leisure facilities are available now.