Hotel History

The title deeds to Best Western Plus Ullesthorpe Court Hotel show that there has been a house here since before 1767, which was extended around 1800 by adding a plain two-storey farmhouse at the front.  This was known as Four Elms Farm.  In the seventeenth century a toll road led to Frolesworth with a gate at the bottom of Court Hill, the road from there to Frolesworth being merely a track.

Between 1915 and 1918, the new wing, museum and gallery were converted into a auxiliary hospital caring for twenty sick and wounded soldiers, and electric light was installed for this purpose.  Mr & Mrs Goodacre and one nursing sister, who 'lived in', relied on men and women from the surrounding village to undertake voluntary light duties to help them run the hospital.  Robert, the ghost of one of the soldiers, still haunts the building, according to reliable sources!  There have also been accounts of local farming families entertaining the soldiers to tea.

During World War Two, the Court was once again requisitioned as an American Serviceman's Hospital, and hutted military barracks were set up in the field opposite.  A young German pilot was shot down over Wolvey, and held by the Americans at the Court.  Local people remember seeing him staring disconsolately out of an upstairs window!  The soldiers were also frequent visitors at the local dances.  For a short time after the war, the camp was used to house displaced persons from Europe but again when squatters moved into the empty huts, they were soon dismantled.  The Court was never again used as a private residence, but converted into flats and then used as a grain store.

Best Western Plus Ullesthorpe Court is set amidst 120 acres of glorious Leicestershire countryside. 

Originally a 17th Century manor house built on an estate dating back to the Domesday Book.

The hotel not only retains many of its original architectural features but also tells a fascinating story.  Its history includes existence as a private home with museum and picture gallery and an auxiliary hospital in the 1914 - 1918 war.

The unusual architecture is a result of a trip to Austria, undertaken by Hugh Goodacre and his wife who needed to undergo a cure at Marienbad.  The water tower was adapted from an old tower at Regensburg, and the balcony taken from a design in Innsbruck.  Small oriole windows and the front door were 'borrowed' from stately homes in Norfolk.  What is now an overgrown spinney at the bottom of the drive was once an Italian Water Garden, and because of its swampy inaccessibility is now the habitat of protected wild orchids.

In the early seventies a local builder purchased the Court and made extensive renovations inside with the intention of turning in into a gambling casino.  Extensive Italian marble was imported for the walls.  However, this project failed and the building and land was sold.  It was at this time the golf course was developed.  Since the Woolley family purchased the complex in 1982, there have been further additions of hotel bedrooms, restaurants and a leisure complex.

Key Dates in History

  • 1767 - Oldest record of the property
  • 1918 - Converted into an auxiliary hospital. Electric installed
  • 1941 - Property turned into an America Serviceman's Hospital
  • 1982 - The Court & Golf Club purchased by the Woolley Family
  • 1990 - The Court became a hotel with the opening of the existing 38 bedrooms
  • 1991 - The Leisure Club was opened
  • 2005 - Ullesthorpe Court joined Best Western Hotels
  • 2006 - 34 new rooms including 4 suites were opened making a total of 72 ensuite rooms
  • 2007 - The AA award the hotel with 4 stars
  • 2009 - Awarded a Silver award by the Green Tourism Business Scheme
  • 2010 - Hotel featured on Channel 4's  'Undercover Boss' programme
  • 2010 - Winner of Best Western Large Hotel of the Year 2010
  • 2011 - The first UK Hotel to become a Best Western PLUS property
  • 2012 - Winner of Best Western Large Hotel of the Year 2012
  • 2013 - Awarded a Gold award by the Green Tourism Business Scheme
  • 2013 - Winner of Best Western Large Hotel of the Year 2013
  • 2014 - Voted Winner in town Hotel by the Best of Lutterworth
  • 2015 - Highly Commended in the 2015 Service Accommodation, Leicestershire Tourism Awards
  • 2015 - Best Western Award for Best Customer Experience 2015 in the large hotel category
  • 2016 - Highly Commended in the 2016 Service Category of The Midlands Family Business Awards
  • 2016 - Commended in the 2016 Most Enjoyable Hotel Stay, Leicestershire Tourism Awards
  • 2016 - Best Western Award for Best Customer Experience 2016 in the large hotel category
  • 2017 - Commended in the 2017 Most Enjoyable Hotel Stay, Leicestershire Tourism Awards
  • 2018 - Highly Commended in the 2018 Most Enjoyable Hotel Stay, Leicestershire Tourism Awards
Best Western Hotel Award Ullesthorpe
MHMP Ullesthorpe Court Hotel Best Customer Experience Large Award

Famous Guests

famous guests that have stayed at The Court

Take a look at some of our very famous guests:

  • David Coulthard
  • Bill Maynard
  • Peter Purvis
  • Mark Foster
  • Jenny Bond
  • Susie Perry
  • Mark Selby
  • Lewis Hamilton's Parents
  • Ken Morley
  • Russell Grant
  • Willie Thorne