Hotel Stories

Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel – a hotel packed with personality

Local treats, personal connections, even ghost stories… Richard Metcalfe, owner of Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel, BW Signature Collection reveals the history and charm of his Pontefract hotel.
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It’s fair to say Rogerthorpe Manor has a long-standing legacy as a family-run business. For over 400 years, the building has played a pivotal role in the local community, first as a farmhouse, then a pub, members club and later a hotel.

Today Rogerthorpe Manor is part of the Best Western family, though still retains its own unique history and character. It even comes with a ghost story! Current owner Richard Metcalfe has a long association with this special building – here, he reveals the personality behind the bricks and its importance to the local community… 

Welcome to Yorkshire

Walking through the front doors of Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel, guests are greeted by the sign, “Welcome to Yorkshire”. It’s a greeting, but also an invitation. Inviting visitors to really embrace being part of the Rogerthorpe family, if just for the night.

Proudly settled in the quiet Badsworth countryside, locality and community is a huge part of the hotel’s charm. Not only do all staff live within a 10 mile radius, but the on-site Jacobean pub is a local favourite with homemade food and countryside views giving guests an immersive Yorkshire experience.

“You’re never far from a local tip if you need one!” said Richard.

rogerthorpe manor richard

Speaking of local tips, no guest is ever checked out of the Rogerthorpe without the offer of a traditional Pontefract Cake. A local liquorish delicacy, these delicious sweets will be just another small reason to book a return visit.

A hotel with heart

The pandemic saw a long couple of years for the hotel industry, but despite the struggle, Richard always put the customer first.

“The pandemic allowed us to show our true hospitality” said Richard. “I saw a lot of hotel groups and local hotels shut the door, go home and disappear. But for me, that just wasn’t fair on the customer. 

rogerthorpe manor hotel

“We reimbursed lots of money last year. And though it might not have been the right thing for the business at the time, I think in the long run it’s gained us trust. We’ve already got 150 weddings booked for 2022. It’s the most we’ve done in years!”

For Richard, the hotel business has always been about people. The staff and customer are at the heart of Rogerthorpe Manor and it’s this warmth and welcome that make the hotel feel so inviting. 

“You can’t run a hotel on your own. It’s needs people!” Richard said. “And I think our belief in that is the real reason we have so many long-service staff, and customers returning year after year.”

Things to see and do…

Looking for a reason to visit Rogerthorpe? Here’s a few local sites and activities to help pack out your mini-break…

  • A local secret, Nostell Priory is lovely quiet spot for a weekend stroll – or perhaps a picnic
  • Xscape in Castleford, is the ultimate family day out with action-packed activities including 4D Golf, a 14 screen cinema, VR experience and indoor snow sports  
  • Pontefract Castle or ‘The Key to the North’ offers a glimpse back in time to the Norman Conquest with interactive activities for all the family
  • The Pontefract Races is one of the most popular race tracks in the north of England, a great way to spend a sunny day

the jacobean pub

A little bit of history

It was only recently that Richard discovered the name Samuel Saltonstall carved under ivy on the front of Rogerthorpe Manor. Saltonstall was the earliest known owner of the Rogerthorpe estate, and the manor he built stayed in the Saltonstall family for nearly a century, through the era of The Great Fire of London and The English Civil War.

In its traditional form, Rogerthorpe Manor was a farmhouse. However in 1955 the building was bought and transformed into an country club which it remained under various owners for the next 40 years.

Rogerthorpe opened as a hotel in 2000. By this time the manor had undergone quite a transformation, with 24 bedrooms and an extension added. It even had its own Jacobean-style pub, inviting locals to keep visiting along with guests.

The Metcalfe family took over the pub in 2004. Together with his parents and brother, Richard lived and worked at Rogerthorpe, before inheriting the hotel from his father and continuing the tradition set out by Saltonstall right at the very beginning.

So what about that ghost story?

Rumour has it that Rogerthorpe is not only home to the living. In fact, some guests even request staying on a certain side of the hotel so they can connect with the resident ghost…

“The story goes that a long time ago, there was a pond in the grounds of the hotel, and one of the owner’s daughters had an accident and drowned,” said Richard. “Ever since, it’s said you can spot her wandering the Lawrence side of the hotel.

“Ghost-chasers do come and have ‘sleepovers’ with her sometimes. But I'll be honest, I don’t really want to know the outcome!”

Book a room at Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel and discover the calm of the Yorkshire countryside.

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