CELEBRATING OUR DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY
11th April 2023 marks 60 years since Holdsworth House Hotel & Restaurant first opened to the public after 330 years as a private residence. Scroll down for a timeline and images of the hotel through the years.
60 magical years
On 11 April 1963, Rita and Freddie Pearson opened Holdsworth House as the Cavalier Country Club – a private member’s hangout that became hugely popular for partying, dining and gambling in the Swinging Sixties. The pair and their two young daughters Gail and Kim counted The Beatles, Jayne Mansfield and Rudolf Nureyev amongst their famous guests.
Third generation director Nick Moss said, "Undoubtedly, my grandfather Freddie was a canny businessman and he saw mileage in replicating the 1960s social scene of London in Halifax. 60 years later, the manor is a thriving 32-bed hotel and still welcomes people through the doors as somewhere special to visit. We're very grateful for our guests' loyalty and custom. We hope that we’ve helped create some wonderful memories, just as our guests have for us. Here’s to the next 60 years!"
What's coming up in 2023
Over the next 12 months, we have lots planned for our diamond anniversary celebration. We will update this page as more events are announced.
Enter Now: A fantastic Art Competition with guest judge Sally Wainwright OBE. Enter the competition here
Later in the Year: Christmas Carols in December
22nd December 1962
Local Halifax couple Rita & Freddie Pearson, and their young daughters Gail and Kim, buy Holdsworth House in an auction for £8500.
11 April 1963
Rita & Freddie open the Cavalier Country Club at Holdsworh House
The first official 8 (portacabin-style) bedrooms are added at the rear of the manor, meaning the Pearson family no longer have to give up their own bedrooms for VIP guests.
An application is made to add a 12-room extension. A new reception area and breakfast room (now the Abraham Brigg wedding ceremony room) are created.
Another bedroom extension is granted. The design includes the split-level suites, and it goes on to win an award.
Following the death of Freddie Pearson (Rita had passed away in 1981 aged just 52), the Cavalier Country Club reverts to its original name of Holdsworth House and is inherited by the couple’s daughters Gail and Kim.
To mark the hotel’s 35th anniversary, work begins to restore the Parterre Garden. The planting is inspired by Royal Botanist John Parkinson’s book A Garden of Pleasant Flowers (published in 1629).
Holdsworth House is granted a licence to hold marriage ceremonies. It hosts an average 120 weddings each year and becomes one of the most popular wedding venues in the north of England.
English Heritage helps restore the stone Gazebo, and local decorative artist Linda Brill adds the interior stencilling (inspired by historic designs in the V&A Museum). Other parts of the interior walls are left bare to reveal the original stonework.
For the first time in the hotel's history, it is forcibly closed by the Covid pandemic. During the closure, the Yorkshire stone roof of the Stuart Room is re-laid and many public areas, bedrooms and bathrooms are redecorated.
Following the successful creation of two Executive Suites in 2019, the remaining 6 small double bedrooms are knocked through to make another 3 larger Executive Suites. The hotel now has 32 bedrooms.