DREAM HOUSE ON THE DREAM SITE
Stone House has a fascinating history. It was built by Hugh Crallan who was born on 11 April 1867, the youngest of a family of two sisters and two brothers. His solicitor father died at the early age of 48 when Hugh was only eleven. He was educated at Sutton Valence School, took a pass degree at Cambridge and became a school master. He had never been particularly well-off until he inherited a considerable fortune in 1906 from his cousin, Hugh Parnell, solicitor, and proceeded at once to build his “dream house” on the “dream site” where it now stands.
Hugh chose as his architect the well-known London practitioner, P Morley Horder who had made a name for himself designing country houses in what he considered to be local tradition, with the use of local materials.
Though Hugh had married Edith Whittaker in 1901, they had no children and his principal interests became cricket (always a passion), horse racing, and living the life of a country gentleman. His greatest success in racing was winning the Chester Gold Cup with “The Guller”, trainer John Osborne, jockey unknown to me, nor am I aware of the year but it must have been the early twenties.
During the 1914-1918 War, Hugh opened a shop in Hawes to “beat the profiteers” but as far as I know this philanthropic venture was of short duration!
Thanks to Hugh Parnell Crallan, Hugh Arden Crallan’s nephew and godson for the above information.
An early photograph
The first plans
The Architect’s plans
Hugh Crallan & The Guller
Mr Crallan’s shooting party 1912
A shooting party
THE PG WODEHOUSE CONNECTION
Mr Crallan employed a gardener named Percy Jeeves. He played cricket for Hawes and was reputed to be a “demon bowler” He was also responsible for the upkeep of the grounds and wicket. In 1910 whilst playing in a match he was spotted by the secretary of Warwickshire and asked to play county cricket. In 1913 he was playing against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham when a certain P.G. Wodehouse was so impressed with Jeeves’ bowling that he remembered the name. Later, in 1916 when he started writing the “Jeeves & Bertie” sagas, he knew it was just the name he had been searching for!
1940s - 1980
In 1940s a lady called Dorothy Una Radcliffe owned Stone House, although we don’t think she ever lived here, her main home being Temple Sowerby Manor in Cumbria. She was an author who wrote poems, plays and stories. One of her most famous stories is called “The Cranesbill Caravan” about her time spent in an old caravan near Askrigg. A copy of this can be found in the library at Stone House. Dorothy was also president of the Yorkshire Dialect Society and wrote regular articles for the Yorkshire Post and the Dalesman magazine.
In 1950 Mr & Mrs Gardner from Sheffield bought Stone House for a holiday home which they used mainly as a weekend retreat for 10 years. When Mr Gardner, a dental surgeon, retired they moved to Stone House permanently until 1980.
Mrs. Crallan, 1912
Jane Taplin with guests, 1982
Peter and Jane Taplin, 1985
1980 - 1992
In 1980 Jane & Peter Taplin made a life-changing decision to sell their home in Baildon and retail meat business in Bradford Market. The rapid expansion of supermarkets was beginning to have an effect on trade and it seemed the right time for a career change. Stone House was advertised for sale in the property section of the Yorkshire Post.
One visit was enough to convince them that Stone House had great potential and so, after moving in on the 1st December, the arduous task of converting a private home into a hotel began. In the spring of 1981 Stone House Hotel officially opened with four letting bedrooms available to book on a bed and breakfast basis.
The following year the kitchen was extended and evening meals were then provided. With the arrival of the popular TV show “All Creatures Great and Small”, which was filmed in the Dales, rooms at Stone House were in great demand. In 1983 the Coach House was converted to provide accommodation for the family. This meant more rooms were available to let in the main house and the following year, with the help of a rural business development loan, 6 new bedrooms were added on the west side of the house. In 1989 Chris joined his parents in the business after completing a course in Hotel Management, including a year working at the prestigious Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich, Switzerland. In 1992 Chris’s brother-in-law Peter Westwood joined the hotel. Peter was instrumental in the success of his family business in Leyburn but was looking for a different challenge and a new partnership was formed with Chris, enabling Peter & Jane Taplin to leave Stone House in their capable hands and retire to Bishop Monkton near Harrogate.
1992 - 2014
Under the guidance of Chris & Peter, Stone House has seen many changes over this period in the hotel’s history. Most notably the addition of more guest bedrooms, extensions to the dining room and car park and the completion of many environmentally friendly projects such as the installation of a Biomass Boiler. The family business continued to grow and develop and in 2010 was strengthened again with the arrival of Peter’s son Josh to the team. With a keen interest in music and outdoor activities Josh was able to bring a new dimension to the business with the addition of music events and sporting facilities.
2014 TO PRESENT
The announcement that the Grand Depart of the world famous Tour de France was to be held in the Yorkshire Dales in July 2014 was very exciting news and provided a much needed to boost to tourism in the region. The race weaved its way through the stunning scenery of the Dales and was filmed and shown live to a global audience. In readiness for the predicted increase in cyclists visiting the area, Stone House added another string to its bow with the creation of the Bike Barn -a secure stabling and maintenance facility for guests bikes. The boost in the number of hotel guests has also prompted the planning application for a new dining room extension, which has been passed and is now awaiting design approval.
In 2016, following the decision of Peter’s son Josh Westwood to pursue a different career, a new management team was established with Josh’s wife Zoe and family friend Chris Greig taking care of the day to day running of the hotel. This has allowed directors Chris & Peter to take a step back and control the direction of the business and to try and increase the general awareness of the Yorkshire Dales as a place to visit and enjoy. They are also looking to complete various sporting challenges – so keep an eye out for the Latest News section!
Refurbishments and improvements are carried out every year to ensure that Stone House continues to meet the demands of today’s discerning guests, but the essence of Stone House remains the same and still retains the atmosphere of a family home in a stunning part of England