The Village of Ellingham was once the centre point of an ancient barony that stretched from the Scottish Borders to Jesmond in Newcastle-Upon Tyne. This barony belonged to the family of Grenville during the reign of Henry I.
There are records of an early building on the site of Ellingham Hall, however it wasn’t until the 17th Century that the structure you can recognise today came into existence. The Hall was built by and became the home of Sir John Haggerston bart. Edward Haggerston and his wife Mary, upon residence, later enlarged the Hall. Over the following centuries the Hall has experienced some fascinating and occasionally devastating history.
One of the most severe fires burnt most of the East wing to the ground, and during the reformation, the original Catholic chapel safely harboured priests within secret tunnels and chambers. The Chapel was finally deconsecrated in 1996.
During the War another change came to the Hall with the land girls cultivating what was the tennis courts to provide food, and the reception rooms being used as a storage base for tea and flour.
The next change came with a Preparatory School for boys aged 5 to 18 in 1955. The School ran until 1988 when the Hall was bought by two property developers who planned to turn it into eight flats. However these plans fell through and the Hall stood empty and was subjected to vandalism and theft.
Being left open to the elements the Hall began to decay, lead was stripped from the roof, cast iron baths were thrown from the second floor windows into the arms of scrap dealers, destroying much of the beautiful Victorian masonry.
However in 1995, the Hall was bought by Helen and Aidan Ruff who spent the next eight years restoring and renovating the building to its former glory, and it stands today as a testament to great British workmanship over the centuries.