Dingley Lodge Hotel is a unique, family run country house hotel with an unrivalled setting and homely atmosphere. From its elevated position, the house commands extensive views over the Welland Valley to the West and Dingley Point-to-Point course to the South.
Located in the Midlands on the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire border, Dingley Lodge provides easy access to the Midland attractions and a perfect base to explore the whole of the UK.
The house itself is a handsome Victorian building set in four acres of gardens and paddocks and surrounded by open countryside.
Dingley Lodge was built by Viscount Downe’s estate workers for John and Hannah Fisher in 1888. John Fisher was an estate manager of some renown and he said he would come to Dingley to work for Lord Downe only if a house was built big enough for his family. John And Hannah, attempting to follow a Fisher ‘tradition’ of having two sons in order that the first could be called Robert and the second John, had first nine daughters, so that when they moved into Dingley Lodge they had ten children! Another daughter followed before their second son was born. Hannah died giving birth to child number thirteen. Her husband died in 1914 and both are buried near the door of Dingley Church.
When the estate was divided and auctioned in 1924 following Lord Downe’s death Dingley Lodge was sold with 243 acres of land for the princely sum of £8,300 to the Co-op who stripped it of most of its land and sold it again two years later.
The house has had a chequered past but it seems that from this time it began to fall into disrepair. In 1953 it was converted as cheaply as possible into three flats and when we first looked at it late in 1982, having been empty for a number of years it was semi-derelict. There was a burst water tank in the attic and nobody had thought to turn off the water for two months. We went round it by torchlight because the shutters had been nailed up to keep out vandals. Naively we turned our backs on the house and fell in love with the views.
Friends and relatives thought we were mad when we decided to go ahead and buy the place. We felt we could achieve what others, shaking their heads as they saw the state it was in, felt they couldn’t. It would only take us five years or so.
What was to be a five-year project has kept us busy, with one or two gaps, ever since. The lowest point was when our only bath- room had a tarpaulin as a roof and a piece of hardboard as an outside wall and we discovered the flannel frozen to the bath edge. But there have been high points too and the result is that we are proud of what we have done. There’s still a lot to do, particularly outside, and we sometimes feel it’s a bit of a Forth Bridge job, but we’re getting there. We’ve certainly learned a lot.
Dingley Lodge is, first and foremost, our home. We’re pleased to be able to open it for others to share and we find that most people appreciate this opportunity. Most of our customers are regulars and they do much of our advertising for us. We hope you will join them.
Christine & Bruce Kirkman