Beeston Towers

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Wild Boar Hotel, formally Beeston Towers.

Beeston Towers (now the Wild Boar Hotel) is a former country house near the village of Beeston, Cheshire, England. It stands on the A49 road some 1 mile (1.6 km) to the east of the village. It was built in 1886 for John Naylor, a timber merchant from Warrington.[1] Extensive additions were made in the early part of the 20th century. The building is timber-framed, with additions in rendered brick. It is in three storeys, with a tower of four storeys. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building.[2] During the 20th century the building was converted into use as a school. Later it was developed as a restaurant, and in 1998 an accommodation block was added, making it into a hotel.[3]

John Naylor[edit]

John Naylor
Cover of John Naylor book
Wild Boar Hotel 1900

John Naylor was born in Grappenhall, Cheshire in 1844.[4] His father was John Naylor, a coal and slate dealer in Warrington and his mother was Ellen Naylor.[5] He was the eldest of four children. His only brother was Robert Naylor who was three years younger. John worked for some years as a merchant and in 1871 he and his brother Robert decided to undertake a walk of about 1300 miles from the top to the bottom of the United Kingdom. They completed the distance in nine weeks.[6]

The brothers are credited with making the first journey of this terrain and are still frequently mentioned in walking and cycling guides today.[7] In 1916 some years after his brother’s death John Naylor wrote a book called “From John O'Groats to Land's End” which can be read from the Project Gutenberg website.[8] In his introduction to the book John Naylor said.

"It was a big undertaking, especially as we had resolved not to journey by the shortest route, but to walk from one great object of interest to another, and to see and learn as much as possible of the country we passed through on our way. We were to walk the whole of the distance between the north-eastern extremity of Scotland and the south-western extremity of England, and not to cross a ferry or accept or take a ride in any kind of conveyance whatever. We were also to abstain from all intoxicating drink, not to smoke cigars or tobacco, and to walk so that at the end of the journey we should have maintained an average of twenty-five miles per day"

In 1873 John married Elizabeth Smith who lived in Grappenhall. The couple lived for many years in Warrington and they had six children, three girls and three boys.[9] During this time John and his brother Robert established a very successful timber business and became quite wealthy. His three sons also became assistants in the timber company.

In 1886 John built Beeston Towers which is now the Wild Boar Hotel.[10] A photo of the house that he erected is shown. The additions were made later. He died in 1923 and the house was put on the market.

Mrs Ethel Amelia Gapp[edit]

Ad for Beeston Towers School, 1939.

Mrs Ethel Amelia Gapp opened a boarding school for girls at Beeston Towers in the 1930s. She was born Ethel Amelia Turner in 1895 in Bournemouth. Her father was Richard Dean Tucker who was a tailor and her mother was Amelia Tucker.[11] In 1922 she married Maurus Percy Joseph Gapp who became a science teacher at Ripon Grammar School. They had two daughters who also became teachers. In 1933 he published a textbook called “Introductory General Science”[12] He appears to have continued teaching at Ripon Grammar while Ethel opened her school in Beeston. An advertisement for the school in 1939 is shown.

Ethel remained at Beeston Towers until 1946 when she moved the school to Tunstall Hall.[13] The property was placed on the market and at first became a guest house[14] and then later a hotel.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ de Figueiredo, Peter; Treuherz, Julian (1988), Cheshire Country Houses, Chichester: Phillimore, p. 215, ISBN 0-85033-655-4 
  2. ^ Historic England, "Wild Boar Inn, Beeston (1130516)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 3 July 2013 
  3. ^ History, Wild Boar Hotel, retrieved 13 June 2011 
  4. ^ England Census of 1911.
  5. ^ England Census of 1851.
  6. ^ Undescovered Scotland website. Online reference
  7. ^ Robinson, Andy 2014 “The End to End Trail: A long distance trail from Lands End to John O'Groats”. Online reference
  8. ^ Project Gutenberg website “From John O'Groats to Land's End”. Online reference
  9. ^ England Census of 1911.
  10. ^ Wild Boar Hotel. Online reference
  11. ^ England Census of 1911.
  12. ^ Amazon Website. Online reference
  13. ^ Northampton Mercury - Friday 16 August 1946, p. 8.
  14. ^ Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Friday 05 August 1949, p. 4.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°07′39″N 2°39′43″W / 53.12760°N 2.66203°W / 53.12760; -2.66203