Historic estate village pub in North Yorkshire with royal connections to re-open after major refurbishment

The Bay Horse Inn, Goldsborough
The Bay Horse Inn, Goldsborough
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A pub with links to the Royal Family is to re-open after a significant makeover.

The Bay Horse Inn in Goldsborough, near Knaresborough, is now owned by the Oglesby family, who also run nearby Goldsborough Hall as a luxury hotel.

Goldsborough was part of the Harewood estate until the Lascelles family sold the hall and the village properties, including the pub, in 1952. The business's re-opening means the pub and the house will be linked for the first time in almost 70 years.

Goldsborough Hall: Inside the Yorkshire B&B that was once home to a princess
The Bay Horse closed in March to undergo major renovations funded by the Oglesbys, who have hired Tony Fulford, the former chef at Chez la Vie at The Nelson, to run the kitchen.

The £380,000 refurbishment pays homage to the village's royal connections. Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V, lived at Goldsborough from 1922 until 1930, after her marriage to Henry Lascelles. Their two sons, George and Gerald, were born at Goldsborough and christened in the estate church. They moved to Harewood House when Henry inherited the earldom.

The pub is decorated with old photos showing Princess Mary and her family at the hall in the 1920s. Mary's brother was King George VI, the father of our present Queen, who could have visited Goldsborough as a small child.

The Bay Horse's name is a tribute to the Byerley Turk, a stallion which was one of the founding fathers of the modern thoroughbred breed. Robert Byerley, an 18th-century owner of the house, brought the horse back from military service and put it out to stud on the estate, where it died and was buried in 1706.

Mark Oglesby will lease the business from Ei Publican Partnerships.

The 16th-century pub has a new hand-made bar, new kitchens, upgraded furniture, snug with original stone floors, wood-burning stove, five en-suite bedrooms and a beer garden.

The bar will stock locally-crafted beers including Roosters, Black Sheep and Theakstons, and the menu will include seasonal dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients and a modern twist on British pub classics.

Mark said:-

“It’s been such an exciting time for us to be part of the huge transformation of this historical site. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to invest in the village and reinstate this much-loved pub as the beating heart of the community once again.

“Ei Publican Partnerships has been extremely supportive throughout this process and I am looking forward to seeing what the future brings.”

Goldsborough and the Royal Family

Goldsborough was a secondary residence for the Lascelles family, earls of Harewood, for nearly 200 years. It was close to their main seat at Harewood House and occupied by heirs-in-waiting and widows.

In 1922, the heir to the earldom, Henry Lascelles, moved in with his new wife Princess Mary. She was the only daughter among the five surviving royal children. Her elder brothers, Edward and Albert, both became kings - Edward abdicated to enable Albert to take the throne as George VI.

She was the aunt of George VI's young daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Her nieces were born during Mary's time at Goldsborough and were close in age to her own sons, their cousins George and Gerald. Elizabeth is now our present Queen.

George, who became the seventh Earl of Harewood and died in 2011, was sixth in line of succession to the throne when he was born and christened at St Mary's Church in Goldsborough. He was King George V and Queen Mary's first grandchild and the couple were present for the christening.

During their eight years at Goldsborough Hall, Princess Mary spent her time remodelling the gardens, which have been restored by the Oglesby family. Many of her royal relatives visited and planted trees, and their efforts are commemorated by plaques in the grounds.

The King and Queen often visited Yorkshire, spending their time at local beauty spots such as the Plumpton Rocks pleasure gardens.

In 1930, Henry inherited his father's title and the family moved to Harewood. The widowed Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood, died there in 1965.

The Oglesby family took on the hall in 2005, transforming it into a boutique B&B, wedding venue and restaurant. In an interesting twist, one of their past guests has been Prince Harry - the great-grand-nephew of the hall's previous owner. He was apparently unaware of his family's connection to the house.

Goldsborough is even mentioned in the new Downton Abbey movie, which was filmed at Harewood House and set during the early years of Princess Mary's marriage.