Holland Hall is a 17th Century Grade II listed building; the original ‘Holland House’ built in 1654 remains in its entirety a large part of the present day hotel.
Some of the original Baroque architecture is still in situ, including the original pedimented studded door with its frame-moulded architrave and sash windows. The door which is located at the front entrance of the old hall, in its original stone masonry, can be seen from within the foyer in its full glory.
Holland Hall is situated in the historic village of Upholland in West Lancashire. The village was first attested in the Domesday book of 1086, appearing as Hoiland which in Old English means ‘land on the spur of a hill’.
The ‘de Holland’ family (deriving their name from the place) were an extremely influential family in the county with Robert de Holland founding a college for catholic monks; the present Anglican church of St Thomas the Martyr (located at the top of the hill in the village). It is believed that there is a tunnel running between the hall and the church.
Previous refurbishments have revealed a number of priest-holes; one was found concealed in the wall and is now a feature of one of our guest-rooms within the old building. Another priest-hole is situated under the fireplace in the main entrance hall. Priest-holes were built by wealthy Catholic families following the Elizabethan out-lawing of Catholicism, so that priests who were hiding in private homes could flee ‘priest-hunters’ who would search houses for weeks. Priests who were found were hanged, drawn and quartered.
In 1815, Upholland born highwayman George Lyon was the last man to be hanged at Lancaster Castle. He was a common thief and robber but was a rather inept highwayman. During an attempt to hold-up the Liverpool mail coach, he got on top of the coach too early in the rain causing his gun-powder to clog. He was seen and flung off into the mud! After his execution his body was returned to his friend and landlord of the ‘Old Dog Inn’ (in the village on Alma Hill) where his body was kept overnight then buried at St Thomas the Martyr.
During our Full Hotel Renovation we have discovered a lot of interesting features from a hidden staircase to under grown tunnels even Wattle and Daub! Our search still continues…