Prestigious title will help put ‘Goole on the map’, says owners.
News that the Lowther Hotel is now the oldest hotel in England has ‘put Goole on the map’, its owners have said this week. A fire in October which destroyed the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter – formerly the country’s oldest hotel – has seen the Aire Street landmark claim the prestigious title.
The Lowther’s owners Howard and Julie Duckworth described the news as “fantastic”, and said they hoped it would help put Goole in the spotlight. “It is fantastic for us, and fantastic for the town,” Mr Duckworth said.
“Who would ever have thought that a small town in the East Riding of Yorkshire could be home to the oldest hotel in England”.
The Lowther was built in 1824 during the Georgian period by Sir Edward Banks – a man also famous for building two bridges over the River Thames in London.
“It was originally built to house the architects and engineers who built the docks, and has remained a hotel ever since,” Howard said. “It has the same footprint as it had when it was built – if your great great grandmother or father came to see it today would they recognise it? The answer is yes they would.”
VisitEngland – the country’s tourism body confirmed the news in a statement.
They said: “The Lowther Hotel has the honour of being the oldest hotel in England, having been built in 1824 during the Georgian period. It is one of three buildings in the Goole Conservation Area that has been restored by the hotel’s owners and has just been awarded the ‘Best Rescue of a Heritage Site’ in the Historic England Angels Awards 2016. The hotel owners’ have now joined the National Quality Assurance Scheme run by Quality in Tourism on behalf of Visit England.
Every year, experienced and professional assessors visit hotels, guest houses and other accommodation which are members of the scheme, and review the standard of facilities and customer service on offer. Their report determines what star grading the venue receives, a grading which the public uses when deciding where to stay. Hotel owners of the Lowther Hotel have been extremely pleased by the feedback and help they’ve received from the assessor’s visit”
Howard and Julie said: “Because this is a grade two listed building we were not allowed to touch anything in the bedrooms, so they have remained the same”.
The couple also spoke about Goole’s transformation in recent times. “Who would have thought that: A) We would have won a national award, and B) shortly after that we find out we are the oldest hotel. If you look back 10-15 years, to have Goole winning an award, the Civic Society winning an award, and now the oldest hotel, it is amazing”.
Article published in the Goole Times 22/12/16