The recorded history of Hazlewood Castle starts with the Domesday Book carried out for King William.
The Domesday Book introduced for the first time taxation to the country. The entry is for Sir Mauger the Vavasour residing in the Hall of a Thane at Hazlewood.
(Mauger was a Saxon and they only had the one name! The Normans introduced the second name as a defining name i.e. your title or occupation). He was given his name by the De Percy's.
The Duke of Northumbria had been given Northumbria, which began at The Wash and stretched up the east coast to Scotland, by King William. He was a vassal to the King. The name Vavasour described Mauger as the vassal of a vassal or the tenant for a greater tenant.
In 1283 - Sir William built on the site of the Hall of a Thane a manor house i.e. Great Hall and Pele Tower but as a result of the Barons' Wars he applied to the King to crenellate and fortify his manor. The licence was granted in 1290, transforming the Hall of a Thane into a castle and his title went to a Baron as Barons only were allowed to live in a castle.
The 29th March 1461 saw the War of the Roses take place on Towton Moor, which is directly in
front of the Castle to the south and south east (which is the valley of the River Cock which ran red
with blood from this battle for many a day after the fight had finished. 70,000
people taking part with 28,000 killed).
The Tudor reign then followed (all the families from Mauger through to the Carmelites of 1996 were
Catholic). When Henry outlawed the Catholic Church, priest holes were added to the Tudor Tower
and an underground passage went to Crossroads Farm on the A1/A64 crossroads. These were
imperative as the priest if caught would be hung, drawn and quartered and the person aiding or
abetting him hung!
In 1908 the Vavasours leave Hazlewood after 900 years and go to the Awatere Valley near
Marlboroughin New Zealand, and begin vineyards.
Mr Simpson, a solicitor, bought the Castle and he and descendent families were here until 1953.
During the Second World War from 1939 to June 1953 the Castle was requisitioned as a maternity
Mr Fawcett then bought the Castle and they still reside just down the lane from the Castle (
Mr Fawcett married the great grand-daughter of Henry Vavasour, so a member of the family moved
back on site for a few years.)
In 1958 the Castle was sold to a Mr Donald Hart, who expressed a desire to the Bishop of Leeds
that the Castle would make a nice place to be used as a retreat.
To avoid gift taxes the Castle was sold to the Carmelite Friars who opened the Castle in 1971
as a retreat until 1996, when it was closed and put up for sale.
Hazlewood Castle Hotel opened on the 1st October 1997 having been sympathetically restored.
Please drive carefully within the grounds, looking after our bunnies and Hazlewood black cats!
Old Tom sits on the reception steps - feel free to stroke him! (he's only 5 years old really).