An historic hotel in the heart of Uppingham
The Hackney family have been taking care of weary travellers to The Garden Hotel since 1990. The beautiful Georgian building and garden has a rich and interesting history having stood at the heart of Uppingham society for centuries.
The Grocer's Shop
In 1851 what is now the hotel was a grocer's shop. Here John B. Butt born at Wellingborough, lived with his wife Jane the daughter of the previous grocer, their two sons, a daughter, John's blind mother, his sister, an aunt and two living-in teenage servants Elizabeth and Tilley. Their neighbours next door were Mrs Jane Leake the widowed postmistress and her family, and also the Uppingham branch of the stamford, Spalding & Boston Bank, now known as Barclays Bank.
The School Boarding House
A few years later in 1857, the Rev’d W. J. Earle, Usher at Uppingham School turned what had been a grocer's shop into a school boarding house where he had about 12 to 15 boys. The studies he built can still be seen, having been turned into the smaller bedrooms in the hotel. He remained here for four years and then, in 1861, built Brooklands House on London Road and moved there. By this time the house he left had become known as “The House next to the Old Post Office”
Between 1861 and 1866 it was Howard Candler’s house until he too moved out having built his own boarding house at West Bank. There followed Rev’d Bennet Hesketh Williams from 1866 until 1872. When he tok over the Red House, it was closed and ceased to be a boarding house. The photograph kindly provided above by David Hunter (OU), William’s great grandchild, is from this period.
The Doctor's Residence
Some time afterwards Dr Thomas Bell occupied the House next to the Old Post Office. Bell was Medical Officer to the School, to the Uppingham Union (Workhouse) at that time based on Leicester Road in what is now Constables Boarding House, and carried on a flourishing private practice in the town. He was closely involved with events during the typhoid outbreak in Uppingham in the 1870’s.
The Nurses' Home
At the time of the First World War, the building became a hostel for nurses working at the Workhouse, which had been converted to an Auxiliary Hospital. It seems both the School and the Hospital authorities were put to some trouble to keep the young and dashing senior pupils apart from some of the the more encouraging nurses.
The Central Hotel
Shortly after the First World War the House became the Central Hotel. It was acquired by Mrs Ada Glenn the wife of the proprietor of Glenn Coaches and the Central Garage in Uppingham. In her younger days Ada owned a 1914 Douglas motorcycle and was often seen traveling with perhaps more speed than decorum. However photographs exist to prove she was well capable of mending any punctures she experienced.
The Garden Hotel
Upon her retirement in the late 1970s the then owner renamed the property The Garden Hotel on account of the luscious garden which had sprung up in the same spot where the Old Post Office had once stood.
The Hackney Family took over the hotel in 1990 and have been welcoming weary travellers ever since.