New look for The Knaresborough Inn anything but Dower

The stunning refurbishment of a historic Knaresborough building was proclaimed officially open on Monday (Sept 4) as The Inn Collection Group launched their latest Yorkshire venue, The Knaresborough Inn.

Town Cryer Mark Hunter was called upon to ring in the new opening as a year-long project by the Newcastle-based pub with rooms operator completed, with the Bond End premises now a warm and welcoming venue offering traditional inn-style hospitality in the heart of the town.

The official opening followed a bumper weekend for general manager Ian Durrant and his team as Knaresborough residents turned out en-mass to sample the new look inn for the first time.

He said: “We had planned a soft launch for the site over the weekend but once the word was out that our doors were open, it was quite incredible to see how eager people were to see what has been done to the place.

“The new beer garden was full all weekend, the menu was well sampled, and we’ve had a lot of interest around our Christmas and New Year packages so we’re off to a great start.”

The Knaresborough Inn is unrecognisable from its previous incarnation as the Dower House Hotel with the multi-million-pound investment adding 18 new bedrooms, totally revamping the outdoor areas and undertaking significant remedial works to the fabric of the building.

The revamp and creation of a beer garden to the front of the building is the first visible change that is noticeable to guests, with The Inn Collection Group aiming to maximise the spacious yet sheltered grounds of the site.

Comfortable furniture is now in place in abundance, offering an additional 100 covers to the indoor spaces in the new look inn and providing an inviting space to enjoy food and drinks.

With new pathways installed, the outdoor developments have also returned the 15th century Dower House to pride of place within the site, with the front door of the historic property intended to serve as the main entrance to the inn.

Embracing the heritage of the site has been a key guide for the group during its transformation, with its new identity heavily influenced by links to its original builders and the wider area.

The crest created for the inn sees shield flanked by two griffins, acknowledging the links to the Slingsby family, as does the inclusion of a white chevron and leopard’s head, both taken from the family’s coat of arms.

After stepping through that, or one of the two further entrances, guests are transported into a venue with a definite pub feel and additional embellishments to give The Knaresborough Inn it’s own identity.

From Yorkshire Rose detailing on a double-sided bar that significantly improves the service area to customers, to a mix of seating options including benches, plush chairs and high stools, it is a noticeable change to it’s previous identity

All bedrooms have been fully renovated to bring them into The Inn Collection Group’s house style whilst the conversion of the venue’s old swimming pool and spa areas has created seen the total number of bedrooms increase from 38 to 56.

In a town where room space is at a premium, the inn’s offering is already proving popular, with 90% of its capacity already booked for just its second weekend of trading.

The Knaresborough Inn is the second Yorkshire re-opening for The Inn Collection Group in 2023 and will be joined by The Ripon Inn this autumn, with its refurbishment entering the final phases.

Remarking on the completion of the programme, The Inn Collection Group’s property director Louise Stewart said: “We’re delighted to have completed works on The Knaresborough Inn and that it is being received so well.

“We’ve not only created a beautiful new space to enjoy in the town, but we have undertaken a great deal of remedial work to the fabric of the building itself some of which date back to the 15th century.

“Knaresborough is one of 13 grade II listed buildings within our estate, so our teams are developing a bit of a specialism in caring for them and ensuring that they are secured for the long term.