Stone Gappe

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Stone Gappe
Stone Gappe.JPG
Location Lothersdale
Coordinates 53°54′29″N 2°3′1″W / 53.90806°N 2.05028°W / 53.90806; -2.05028Coordinates: 53°54′29″N 2°3′1″W / 53.90806°N 2.05028°W / 53.90806; -2.05028
OS grid reference SD967457
Area North Yorkshire, England
Built 1725
Listed Building – Grade II*
Designated 10 September 1954
Reference no. 1167086
Stone Gappe is located in North Yorkshire
Stone Gappe
Location of Stone Gappe in North Yorkshire

Stone Gappe is an 18th-century house in Lothersdale, North Yorkshire, England; it is a Grade II* listed building.


The house was constructed for William Bawdwen and completed in 1725.[1] It is constructed of dressed stone with a hipped slate roof. Three storeys high and five bays wide, the south elevation is symmetrical about a central canted bay.[1]

Literary and musical connections[edit]

By 1839 the house was owned by John Benson Sidgwick, a mill owner in nearby Skipton, and in May 1839 he engaged Charlotte Brontë to be governess for two of his children. Brontë's stay was short though and within weeks she left to return to Haworth.[2] It is considered that Stone Gappe was the model for Gateshead Hall, the childhood home of the eponymous heroine of Jane Eyre.[3][4]

The house became the property of Sir John Horsfall, baronet of Hayfield and his heirs. The family let the house and one of the tenants was Dr J Black and his family. Dr Black's wife was Clare Delius, sister of the composer Frederick Delius and in her book, Frederick Delius: Memories of my Brother, there are several references to the composer's visits to the house.[5]

Youth use[edit]

By the mid-1920s the property was let to the Reverend Aldous, the rector of Lothersdale, who sub-let the house to be used as a youth camp centre along the lines of those organised by the then Duke of York (later George VI).[6] In 1931 the house became the first youth hostel opened in Yorkshire's West Riding by Youth Hostels Association (England & Wales).[7] Despite initial popularity[8] the use as a hostel only lasted until July 1935 due to the greater popularity of other locations.[9]

Current use[edit]

The house remains in private hands and has reverted to use as a private residence.


  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Stone Gappe (1167086)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Craven's link with famous Bronte novel". Craven Herald & Pioneer. 3 May 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  3. ^ Chadwick, Ellis H. (2011) [1914]. In the footsteps of the Brontës (Cambridge Library Collection - Literary Studies ed.). p. 146. ISBN 9781108034166.
  4. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus & Radcliffe, Enid (1967). Yorkshire: The West Riding. Buildings of England (2nd ed.). p. 220. ISBN 978-0-14-071017-5.
  5. ^ Delius, Clare (1935). Frederick Delius: Memories of my Brother. I. Nicholson & Watson. pp. 109, 112, 119, 128, 197, 251, 273.
  6. ^ "Centre for Youth. Rector's Proposal to Use an Airedale Mansion". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 19 November 1928. p. 12.
  7. ^ "First West Riding Youth Hostel. Lothersdale Country House Chosen". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 18 February 1931. p. 15.
  8. ^ "A Happy Hikers' Hostel". Dundee Evening Telegraph. 6 August 1931. p. 10.
  9. ^ "Hostel to close". Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette. 19 June 1935. p. 5.