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A Brief History Of Rawcliffe Hall

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Back in June, we announced that Harrison Holidays had acquired Rawcliffe Hall Holiday Park near Blackpool, adding to our portfolio of caravan sites in Lancashire and across the North of England.

Rawcliffe Park is only 20 minutes away from the famous seaside town of Blackpool, as well as Poulton-Le-Fylde, known for its cosmopolitan vibe, great restaurants and trendy bars, and the leafy high streets of Lytham, with its amazing foodie scene and fantastic boutique shopping.

Holiday home owners at Rawcliffe will find themselves within easy reach of historic towns and cities such as Garstang and Lancaster, as well as the incredible Lake District, England’s largest National Park.

Guests will find Rawcliffe sat in a secluded position that gives picturesque views over the River Wyre, and as well as a friendly community of static caravan owners, there is also a laundrette, shop, family rooms, games rooms, and a licensed bar and club in the historic mansion.

If you want to find out more about the Lancashire area, why not take a look at our blog about 10 great things to do in Lancashire?

A History of Rawcliffe Hall

Rawcliffe Hall, dating back to 1154AD, has over 800 years of fascinating history and has links with many pivotal historical moments in English history, including the Civil War, the Reformation, treason, and even both world wars. There is even a rumour of a ghost! So let’s have a closer look at the history of this fascinating manor house.

In 1154, during the reign of Henry II, Rawcliffe Hall became the home of the Butler family, one of whom was made Hereditary Cupbearer to the king. By 1189, Richard I had ascended the throne of England, and his coronation was performed by Hubert Walker Butler, then the Archbishop of Canterbury.

King Richard, in return for his duties, awarded Butler the ‘Hundred of Amounderness’, all the land between the rivers Ribble and Lune, from the coast on the west to the eastern hills, approximately one-sixth of the County of Lancaster.

Over the following centuries, the Butlers and Rawcliffe Hall continued to play a part in English history. During the Reformation, when the Church of England broke away from the Pope and the Catholic Church in the 16th Century, Rawcliffe Hall became the hiding place for Cardinal Allen, a pivotal figure in the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

It wasn’t the only time that the Butlers chose the losing side in conflicts in England, siding with Charles I in the Civil War, in which Captain Butler was taken prisoner during the capture of Liverpool, later dying in prison.

Coincidentally, as Oliver Cromwell marched from Lancaster to Preston during the Civil War, he narrowly missed Rawcliffe Hall, crossing the ford just outside the monastic hall gates, but unable to see the manor house due to the surrounding trees.


In 1715, the Butlers lost ownership of the hall and its estates after supporting the cause of the Stuarts as rightful claimants of the throne. Henry Butler and his son joined the rebellion, but when the Stuart army was defeated, he fled to France, leaving his son to be captured, and dying in prison before he was due to be executed.

The Butlers’ estates were deemed forfeit in 1729 and acquired by an attorney, Thomas Roe, who later passed Rawcliffe Hall to his daughter and John Ffrances, her husband.

Ffrances lived at the hall, as did his son, until 1817 when Rawcliffe was taken by the Wilson-Ffrances, who eventually put the entire Rawcliffe Hall Estates for sale in 1928, bringing about the break up of the estates of the old squires.

The manor house was then purchased by Charles Smith from Blackpool, who converted the hall into a grand private hotel, with 18 bedrooms, four lounges, two dining rooms, and a ballroom.

During this time, a statue was erected on the grounds, named ‘Miss Kitty’, who was dressed in servant’s clothing, carrying an apple in one hand, and a hay rake in the other. There are various rumours as to the origin of Miss Kitty – one claims she was a serving wench who had attracted the favours of the squire and was subsequently killed by a bolt of lightning while picking apples from a tree.

Another rumour is that Miss Kitty represented St Katherine, the patron saint of agriculture, but whatever the real story might be, the statue disappeared during World War II, when the army had taken over the Hall to use as an advance training base in 1940.

Officially, it was said that the statue had been melted down for munitions, but there are other stories that the head or her statue was found buried in the grounds, giving rise to the rumour that Miss Kitty continues to haunt Rawcliffe Hall to this day!


The future of Rawcliffe Hall

Rawcliffe Hall Holiday Park was purchased by Harrison Leisure earlier this year, with plans to continue the amazing work done by the previous owners to improve the Lancashire caravan park’s eco-friendly relationship with the surrounding countryside

The park was previously awarded the David Bellamy Conservation Gold Award as well as the Silver Medal from the Britain in Bloom Award in 2010 and the Cask Marque accreditation for selling quality Real Ale.

Rawcliffe owners can discover bird boxes scattered around the park, as well as a wildlife pond, and there is a bat breeding programme that has been organised by the local Bat Conservation Group.

Rawcliffe also has its own resident bees, with a little help from a local bee-keeping hobbyist, and we have plans to be able to sell the honey produced in the site shop.

The team at Rawcliffe Park includes Kim Jenkinson, whose parents and family first developed the caravan park we know today, and he has lived in the park all his life and certainly has plenty of tales to tell about Rawcliffe Hall.

“I’m delighted that Rawcliffe Hall has been bought by another family-owned firm, which is committed to preserving the heritage of the historic hall and its grounds, and wants to give the park the attention it deserves,” he said.

The park is ideally located in the beautiful West Lancashire countryside, with some amazing opportunities for countryside walks and rambling, and the picturesque villages of Pilling, Hambleton and Great Eccleston nearby.

If you own a holiday home here, don’t forget to bring your four-legged friends, who will love the countryside walks, and Rawcliffe Hall Holiday Park is a very dog-friendly destination.

For those who like to visit their holiday home for a weekend of leisurely sport, there are numerous golf courses close by, and neighbouring the park is Pheasants Wood Fishery for keen anglers.

If you like to socialise when visiting your Lancashire holiday home, then you’ll find all the action in the 12th-century hall, from the oak-panelled Lounge Bar, with its award-winning ales, friendly atmosphere and large screen TV for all the latest sports, and the licensed club where guests can receive the warmest of welcomes.

There’s also a games room with pool, TV, and an open fire for those autumn nights after a day of walking and rambling, a snooker room with a full-size table, and a family room, with stained glass windows, regular bingo, quizzes, and karaoke nights, and a large screen TV for families to watch their favourite shows and sports.

There are also plans to continue the renovation and restoration of Rawcliffe Hall, to restore it to its former glory, and possibly a boutique hotel in the future.


Owning a holiday home at Rawcliffe Hall

Rawcliffe Hall is the ideal location for those looking for a peaceful short break away from the hustle and bustle of the city, whether they want to relax in the park, go fishing or golfing, or explore all that the county has to offer, from the famous Lancashire seaside towns to the majestic Pennine Moors, all steeped in rich history.

There are regular events at all Harrison Holidays parks, from street food events to family entertainment, live music and quiz nights, karaoke, and seasonal parties. Why take a look at the events page on our website to find out what’s on at your favourite park this winter?


If you’re interested in finding out more about owning a holiday home at Rawcliffe Hall Holiday Park, or any of our amazing caravan parks, then visit our Holiday Home Sales page, or contact us for more information.

New owners also get FREE Site Fees for 2023, so what are you waiting for? Get in touch today to discover Lancashire caravan parks and get ready for amazing holidays.



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