Our History

Find out more about the history of Clarkes Hotel

The Clarkes building origins date back to 1720 when George and Margaret Barker who owned some the farm land at Rampside, built either a coaching Inn or an imposing farmhouse (no one is certain). Francis Barker, the son of George and Margaret, married Elizabeth Wordsworth, a cousin of the famous poet William Wordsworth.  It was during the time period 1794 that the poet stayed in the area throughout the summer with his sister Dorothy visiting some of their family members, it is believed that he stayed here at The Clarkes Hotel or the next building along and around 15 years he later wrote a famous poem about Piel Island.

Over 100 years after The Clarkes building was erected it was converted to a Coaching Inn with stables around the back for the horses and carriages/carts, now named The New Inn by Mary Wright in 1822.  Over the next 40 years the New Inn would be used for the workers on the ships docking at Roa Island and Piel Island.

George Hargreaves who owned the hotel in 1849 included in his advertising that “A bathing machine is kept upon the premises” a rare and unusual sight in those days. Thankfully all of our rooms are now en-suite.

James Addison Clarke, a relation of Francis Barker, eventually inherited the building as part of the Addison estate. Under his ownership it changed to The Clarkes Arms around 1870.

In 1913 the original building was pulled down, only the date stone and part of the front wall were kept, which can still be seen today.

There have been numerous owners and name changes to The Clarkes Hotel, it has also been owned by the famous Whitbread brewery and was called the Wordsworth hotel in the late 19th century, which was believed to have had a drive way in and drive way out and a revolving door where the front entrance stands today.

The current owner, Thomas Twigge, purchased the Clarkes in 1998 before which it had sat derelict for three years. During this period extensive renovations have been carried out and the name was once again changed, this time to The Clarkes Hotel. Thomas wanted to keep it as The Clarkes as everyone still called it The Clarkes Arms and he also wanted to promote that it is a hotel.