A short history of Langdale Chase

In 1890 Mr Howarth a businessman from Manchester discovered and bought the site, with the intention of building a small retreat. Unfortunately he died before the building had begun, and his widow, Mrs Edna Howarth decided to erect a larger house as her permanent residence and call it Langdale Chase. The foundation stone was laid by her only child, Lily, on 8th April 1890.

The house was built of Brathay Blue stone by Mr Grissenthwaite of Penrith, and took five years to complete. It required ten men to dress the stone for three stonemasons and £32,000 to build. It had the proud distinction of being the first residence in Windermere to have electricity installed.

The grounds were planned and laid out by Thomas Hayton Mawson, a landscape architect of international distinction. He was responsible for the Palace of Peace Gardens in the Hague. The stone balustrade which encircles the upper terraces and stone steps from the main lawn show some very fine workmanship.

The boathouse stands at the southern end of the garden and has two adjacent jetties, Built of Brathay Blue stone in 1896m it is still considered to be one of the finest boathouses on the shores of Lake Windermere.

Mrs Howarth was a Victorian lady whose mode of living was characteristic of that era. She lived in the house from 1894 to 1914 together with a staff of sixteen – eight indoor servants and eight caring for the gardens, carriages and boats.

In the year that Mrs Howarth died the property was bought by Mr and Mrs Willows from Scarborough. Mr Willows was a great collector and brought with him to Langdale Chase all his treasures including some of the fine old oak, the paintings and china plates which are displayed in the hall.

After her husband’s death, Mrs Willows continued to live in the house until she died in 1929 when the property was put up for auction. It didn’t sell as private residence, but 3 weeks later Miss Dorothy Dalzell, her mother and aunt, all viewed the house and decided to buy it to run as a hotel, which welcomed its first guests at Easter 1930.

In 1974 Miss Dalzell sold the hotel to the Schaefer family, who ran it as a country house hotel until 2017 when it was acquired by Daniel Thwaites.

Large imposing rooms, oak-panelled and mellowed with the years, a collection of fine oil paintings, ornate carved fireplaces and the magnificent oak staircase tell their own story of a hotel rich in history and character.

Blessed with so many architectural and decorative examples of our heritage, not to mention hidden treasures, such as the original mosaic floors in the porch, laid by craftsman brought over from Italy, the house is listed as one of national and historic interest. The Hotel’s outstanding interior and location, made it a natural choice for the classic English country house in Alfred Hitchcock’s production of “The Paradine Case”, starring Gregory Peck, and more recently in the BBC’s portrayal of the life of Donald Campbell.