The Old Hall Hotel

A brief History

The Old Hall is possibly one of England’s oldest hotels and dates back to 1573. The New Hall (as it was known then) was built by the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury on the foundations of an earlier inn or hostelry known as the Auld Hall. The Shrewsburys were custodians of Mary Queen of Scots and the New Hall was built with the sanction of Queen Elizabeth I in the form of a fortified tower to enforce security measures for the Scottish Queen when she was in residence. Queen Mary regularly visited and took the waters to provide relief for rheumatism and the New Hall was also visited by prominent members of the Elizabethan Court including the Earl of Leicester, the Earl of Pembroke, the Earl of Suffolk and Lord Burghley.

What is it used for now?
Still used as a hotel. It is a special venue for theatre and opera enthusiasts and the residents’ lounges are used as practice rooms by the actors and actresses who give performances.
There are also public restaurants and bars of good repute.

Did you know?
The location of the Old Hall is significant because it was built on the site of a natural warm spring recognised as a thermal bath since before the Roman occupation and was located under the eastern end of the hotel.

Mary Queen of Scots scratched her famous last message of farewell to Buxton with her diamond ring on one of the bedroom window panes “Buxton, whose warm waters have made thy name famous, perchance I shall visit thee no more – Farewell.”

The Old Hall was re-built in 1670 by the Duke of Devonshire and he incorporated the old building into the new. The original building still stands behind the façade and extension of the Duke’s building.

Daniel Defoe stayed at The Old Hall in 1727 and described it “as a special place with its own special feeling.”

Our visitor experience...

tells the stories of Buxton, The Crescent, its famous water and the many people who came to seek its cure. Click here to read more.

Our Premium Guided Tours set off in the morning, where you can dive deep into the rich history of our area aided by our warm and wonderful hosts.

For those who prefer to discover at their own pace, the Experience opens to Self-Guided visitors at 1pm.

Large group? Or a sensory tour during quiet times? Please contact us and we can help get that arranged.