Wednesday 18 March 2015

A relaxing getaway at Baskerville Hall

Last month Mrs Jones and I had a much needed, midweek recharging at Baskerville Hall… yes, that one.
Situated in Powys, Mid Wales the Baskerville Hall Hotel overlooks the River Wye just a couple of miles from Hay-On-Wye, the famous town of books, bliss! The Hall was built in 1839 by the Baskerville family, relations of the Dukes of Normandy that first came to Britain to help William the Conqueror in 1066. It has been reported  that family friend, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a frequent visitor to the Hall and that he was apparently inspired by the local legend of a ghostly hound. The story goes that he set his most famous case in Devon instead of Powys at the request of his friends "to ward off tourists" now a hotel for tourists it is equipped with all amenities en-suite bedrooms, tea and coffee-making facilities, restaurant/ bar and several ghosts.
There certainly is an air of Grandeur as you drive up to Baskerville Hall, we were quite excited as we got the case out of the car. I was rather taken by the stone hound sitting above the entranceway- I dare say its a relatively new addition to this 19th century building but such things appeal to me…
As you walk in the main staircase immediately strikes you is the staircase with a fireplace at the top of the stairs.  This staircase is a paranormal focal point as it seems that many guests and staff have seen a ghostly figure (reportedly an elegantly dressed woman) walking up/down the stairs. Unfortunately our guide, ‘Haunted Britain’ let us down somewhat on this particular location as author Antony D.Hippisley openly admitted that Brecknockshire was, “one county in Wales that I have failed, so far to visit” however just over the border in Herefordshire the book tells of a Hergest Court. Hergest Court was the seat of the Vaughans for several centuries. Sir Thomas, known as Black Vaughn was taken prisoner and beheaded in 1483 and apparently as his head fell, it was seized by his faithful black bloodhound and ever since both he and his dog have been sighted hovering above the moat. “He and the dog, in spectral form, either separately or together, haunt the roads to Kington Church, 2 miles away, and back to the Welsh boarder near the Black Vaughn tree. Attempts to exorcise Herguest by twelve clergymen have apparently failed.
it would certainly seem that this could have been what inspired Conan Doyle. We couldn’t resist a quick visit to Hergest Court, now a tranquil looking farmhouse (left) before returning to the hotel for a pleasant meal. Having spent an equally pleasant evening looking around the original features we then retired to our room
(filled with a few outdated features...*) and watched the 1939 adaptation ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Unfortunately, we witnessed neither ghostly goings on nor baying hounds, a great shame, as we would have gladly paid extra for that.

*UPDATE: Its not often one sees a bed that they have slept in on TV but that's just what happened when we watched Salvage Hunters! Episode 1 of series 3 saw decorative antique dealer and treasure hunter Drew Pritchard invited to Baskerville Hall Hotel to seek out potential antiques and quirky furniture for resale but politely declines the 1980's blue velour double bed with inbuilt light, mirror, radio and alarm clock with matching wardrobe and dressing table that we used during our stay!

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.


  1. That sounds brilliant. Did you take the film with you, or does the hotel supply it for its guests?

    1. Hi Mim, No, they didn’t provide it I packed the complete Sherlock Holmes dvd box set and laptop in our luggage ;)



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