Stay in a piece of Whitby’s history

Ruswarp Hall, built in 1603, is one of the oldest buildings in Whitby, providing guests with a unique opportunity to stay in a piece of the town’s history. The 17th century country house is engrained with evidence of the four centuries of former life and stories and rightfully preserved by its Grade II Star listed classification.

The Old Hall, as it was previously known, was built in the Reign of James I, by Nicolas Bushell, who’s portrait hangs in the main entrance hall. A prosperous Merchant and Ship owner, he was succeeded by his son, Brown Bushell, born on 17th May 1609. Brown Bushell, married a daughter of Sir Thomas Fairfax (Oliver Cromwell’s Chief of Staff and victor of Marston Moor) and resided at the Hall whilst he maintained the position of Captain in the parliamentary forces at Scarborough.

A frequent turncoat, Browne was responsible for the betrayal of the Royalist-held Scarborough Castle, which was then destroyed by Cromwell. Shortly after this, under the command of a large ship under Sir William Batten, Bushell betrayed the vessel to the Prince of Wales and was executed on 29th March 1651. Over this period the walls of The Hall were filled with countless tales of secret meetings, battles and hidings.

The Hall, is an interesting example of the period, built of red brick with stone dressings, it is mainly laid out over three floors. The main door is centrally placed and the stone mullioned windows, seven wide are symmetrically placed across the front of the building. In the spacious entrance hall there is a fine old original staircase typical of the Jacobean period, with a minstrel gallery above.

The main banister originating from a carved ship’s mast, which upon looking straight down, can be seen to be bowed in the middle. The building has two priest holes, one in the attic, which encompasses a three-foot drop, and another can be viewed by guests, built into the 4ft 6in thick main interior wall of the second floor, where two or three men would have been concealed at one time.

The interior arrangement of The Hall is in a style typical of medium-sized country homes during the transition of the rambling corridors of Elizabethan mansions to the modern houses of the late Stuart period. As expected, some alternations have been made over the number of years to increase the number of bedrooms and give modern conveniences to guests, but every effort has been made to retain the original character of this beautiful old building.