Ilkley Manor House: Visitors to dine in 14th-century manor house that is one of Yorkshire's oldest buildings for the first time in centuries

Visitors will be able to formally dine inside one of Yorkshire’s oldest buildings for the first time in centuries.

Grade I-listed Ilkley Manor House has parts dating back to the 14th century and was built on the site of the Roman fort of Olicana, with some of the bricks being incorporated into its construction. There are Norman, medieval and 16th-century additions. It is a rare example of a building from the period being built from stone rather than timber. thanks to the ready supply of materials from the ruins of Olicana.

Most of the house was rebuilt and remodelled as a private dwelling in the 17th century, when it was known as The Castle. By 1804, it had been divided into cottages, and in 1950s it was nearly lost to demolition before local benefactor Percy Dalton saved it and donated it to the local council, after it had been condemned as unfit for human habitation.

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Since the 1960s, the building has been used as a museum and is now run by a charitable trust, who re-opened it following a five-year closure in 2018.

Ilkley Manor House in winterIlkley Manor House in winter
Ilkley Manor House in winter

Now for the first time in its modern history, Ilkley Manor House is running festive fine dining events that pay homage to the Tudor banquets and Victorian feasts that have taken place in the manorial great hall during its past.

Award-winning caterers Good Food Story will serve a three-course meal during the week before Christmas, and guests can book as individuals or groups.

Trust chair Sarah Thomas said: “This is set to be a truly fantastic event. The house is of course stunning all year round, but it is transformed into something quite magical during the winter months when it’s dark outside and the lights shine out into the courtyard. There will be a welcome drink on arrival and we hope diners end their memorable, festive experience happy and replete.”

Table sittings are available from December 19-23 for either lunch or dinner at £55 per person.