The hotel that hopes to make the good feud guide

Ian Marshall and  Sally Jennings in the  boardroom at the  Old Lodge Hotel in Malton.
Ian Marshall and Sally Jennings in the boardroom at the Old Lodge Hotel in Malton.
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When sisters Mary and Margaret Eure famously quarrelled about their inheritance a judge was forced to step in with an unusual ruling.

The pair could not decide who should live in the grand property and the argument led to the home being taken down stone by stone – with the stones divided between them by order of Sheriff Henry Marwood in 1674.

Today only the old lodge, now turned into a hotel, remains and it has started to offer a new service inspired by the antics of the feuding sisters.

Eileen Lowery, hotel manager said: “It’s said that they made up before they got to the end and that’s how we have a hotel.

“What a way to clear a quarrel,” she added.

“It’s quite an interesting story and people are always interested in the history of the lodge itself,” she added.

Staff at The Old Lodge Hotel, Malton, realising it is likely the historic building where it is based only survived because tensions were resolved before it too was torn down, have decided to offer an argument-settling service.

Guests who wish to take advantage can settle their business or personal arguments in a neutral environment in privacy and with discretion.

Mrs Lowery says because the building is old-fashioned with plenty of nooks and crannies it provides the perfect setting for people trying to maintain privacy and space while trying to settle disputes. It is often booked for mediation service sessions in civil cases where the different parties need to remain in separate areas before meeting to settle their issues.

“Arguments are inevitable in life as everyone can have views that sometimes conflict with those around them and sometimes there is no opportunity for debate or reason, which can then lead to friction and damage in some way or other.

“This is a great opportunity for guests to share their differences in a neutral place and to use the relaxing and peaceful environment of the hotel and its grounds to reach a more positive outcome – or simply to ‘vent their spleen’ in a private meeting space,” Mrs Lowery added.

A six-point guidance plan, offering advice on how to settle differences, has been created so guests can resolve their differences in a constructive way and a separate ‘cool off’ zone will be available in the hotel grounds near the original castle’s remains as a reminder of what can be lost when arguments fail to be settled.

The site certainly has plenty of history. It was previously home to a castle built by the Normans whose visitors are reputed to have included Richard the Lionheart and Robert the Bruce, but the great house fell to ruin.

In 1569 a new house was built on the site, which is known as Castle Garden, and around 1602 it was rebuilt in a much grander style, described by the diarist Sir Henry Slingsby as rivalling many other great houses.

Colonel William Eure, the father of Mary and Margaret Eure, later inherited the property.

When his daughters later failed to agree on who should live in the house and the sheriff had made his ruling all that was left of the original building is where the Old Lodge Hotel is based.

Its size suggests that the house that stood on the site would have been an impressive property.

Mrs Lowery hopes the hotel will be able to offer the right environment to iron out conflict – but she says if that fails there is always the bar.

“It may be that this approach will not work for some people but there is always the hotel bar where our 50 malt whiskies are displayed alphabetically.

“Starting at A (for Argument) by the time Z is reached guests may have forgotten what the argument was about,” she quipped.


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