Ghosts of Ettington Park Hotel
Ettington Park Hotel has long had a reputation of being one of the most haunted hotels. It was even named the most haunted hotel in the UK by the AA. Guests of the hotel, as well as members of the staff, have reported seeing various spectres and hearing various disembodied voices. There is the old woman in Victorian clothing who has been seen and heard walking along the conservatory entrance. Several people have witnessed the ghost of a man and his beloved dog wandering in the library and vanishing quickly. It is reported that on Christmas Eve, the staff witnessed a candle lift up off the mantelpiece and float by itself.
However, the hotel’s most popular ghost is that of a woman who is dressed in a white gown. She glides along the corridors of the hotel at night and then just disappears into the walls, frightening guests and hotel staff. She can also be seen at the veranda, always around dusk. The staff believe that she is a former governess and is known by the name “Lady Emma”. There is the grey lady who floats and stops at the foot of the stairs where she is believed to have fallen and died many years ago. There are also sightings of a monk both inside and outside the hotel, an army officer and the two young Shirley boys who drowned in the 1800s in the Stour River.
The Shirleys, one of Warwickshire’s oldest families, owned Ettington for many years. Their lineage can be traced back over a thousand years. There is also archaeological evidence that points to the fact that there has been human habitation in the area for at least 2,000 years. It is very much possible that a Roman villa once existed on the site of the Ettington Park Hotel. Ettington Park Hotel has gone through multiple alterations and extensions over time. Sir Charles Shirley carried out considerable repairs in 1641.
The old manor house was demolished and it was replaced with a newer and smaller house which was rebuilt from salvaged materials. George Shirley, an army officer, had the house renovated. He added an entrance hall which is now the new library; he redecorated the Dining Room and he added the Great Drawing Room. In 1935, the mansion became a nursing home. It was used as a camp for prisoners of war during World War II. For a brief period, it was also a club. A fire in 1979 did a lot of damage to the building. It was locked up for three years and it deteriorated badly.
In 1983, the house, along with the land, was leased to the Isis Hotel Company and a restoration program worth millions of pounds were undertaken in order to bring back the mansion to its old glory. Ettington Park then officially opened as a luxury hotel. It is now managed and operated by Hand Picked Hotels Ltd. The former owners, the Shirley family, still regularly visit their former abode and they continue to maintain ownership of the land in the surrounding areas.
Ettington Park Hotel is a luxurious four-star hotel that has 48 well-appointed rooms. There are classic rooms, Executive rooms and suites. It has a restaurant and a cafeteria. Room service is offered for the convenience of the guests and there is a 24-hour front desk service. The hotel has a fireplace in the lobby, patio, garden and tennis courts. People who enjoy swimming will like the indoor and outdoor pool. There is also a steam room, spa/wellness facilities and sauna.
Vacationers with little tots in tow will be delighted to know that the hotel offers babysitting services. There are laundry facilities too. Business guests can use the exhibit space at the hotel. The hotel is furnished with exquisite antiques, paintings hung on the wall and other embellishments that date back many years ago. The hotel is the finest wedding venue in the area. You get to enjoy British hospitality at its finest. The staff is warm and friendly and will accommodate your needs for the entire stay.
- Climate control
- Fax machine and direct-dial phone
- Iron and ironing boards
- Blackout drapes and curtains
- Desk Hairdryer
- Shower/tub combination
- Designer toiletries
- Cable/satellite television
- DVD player
- Broadband Internet access and Wi-Fi
- Complimentary newspapers
Things to do
While you enjoy your stay at the luxurious hotel, there are also lots of other things you can do. You can go to the Heritage Motor Museum. The museum is open all year-round except from the 24th of December to the 1st of January. The museum is home to the largest collection of British cars. Warwick Castle is also something which guests of the hotel should not miss. The castle is open throughout the year except on Christmas Day. The castle has a history that goes as far back as 1000 years. You can experience the magic of Arthurian legends when you go to the castle.
Art connoisseurs will want to visit the Compton Verney Art Gallery. It is open from the 31st of March until the 16th of December 2012. It is just 8 miles away from the hotel. This unique art gallery has a growing collection of art from around the world. The gallery offers family activities, artists’ talks, adult workshops, lectures and other event programmes. Lastly, the Royal Shakespeare Company is open all year round. They have reopened the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres after redevelopment. You can take a Theatre Tour, enjoy a sumptuous meal at the Rooftop Restaurant and you can also go to the Tower to enjoy the views of Stratford-upon-Avon.
- Classic rooms available from £125
- Executive rooms available from £145
- Suites available from £235