OF RISE HALL.
The Rise Hall you see today is mostly the result of 18th and early 19th century building, but its history goes much further back. Rise is recorded in the Domesday Book as being owned by Cnut in 1066.
It then had a series of owners, including Richard Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester, better known as King Richard III.
The estate remained a crown estate until 1628 when the house and 120 acres of woodland were used as security for a loan from the City of London to the crown. In 1639 the grantees of the loan sold the estate to a William Raven and a Michael Evans, and it was sold again in 1646 and bought on behalf of Hugh Bethell.
BUILDING AND REBUILDING
There has been a manor house on this site since 1716, and it was remodelled several times during the 18th century. Each time it was remodelled the old building has been added on to. You can see parts of the 16th and 17th century buildings in the courtyards and along the north side of the house, as well as the Jacobean panelling which was discovered in what had been the estate office, and is now the pub.
The west front of the house was built in 1815-1820 by Richard Bethell, and it’s this that makes up what we think of as Rise Hall today. Some key features of the main part of the house still exist, including the original Regency library, cantilevered staircase, and original plasterwork in the dining room.
During its heyday the house and gardens needed an enormous number of staff to maintain it. In 1851 the house was filled; there were 9 members of the family being looked after by a live-in staff of governess, a housekeeper, a ladies maid, 2 nursery maids, a cook, 10 other maids, a butler, an under-butler, 3 footmen, 2 grooms and a coachman!
Workers from the estate were housed in cottages in Rise village.
1930s AND WORLD WAR 2
The Depression in the 1930s affected large landowners’ income, and the Bethell family closed up part of the Hall and reduced the number of staff.
As with many large country houses, Rise Hall was requisitioned during WW2. The officers in charge of the searchlight batteries in the Holderness area were stationed here. The Bethell family had closed up most of the house before the war and kept just a few rooms in the house, including what is now called the Green bedroom. The rest of the house was turned into dormitories and accommodation for the officers. Outside the main building there was also a motor transport depot.
You can read more about the history of Rise during WW2 on our blog here
ST PHILOMENAS CONVENT
After the war, the Hall was used as a convent school dedicated to St. Philomena, and served as host to an order of nuns, the Canonesses Regular of St. Augustine.
The schoolgirls enjoyed dance lessons in the Gallery, and the Dining Room played host to the school chapel. Science lessons took place in one of the outbuildings, presumably for safety reasons. However the girls were not allowed to use the main staircase, and any offenders were fined!
Around 1980, the school added an extension to the east of the house, containing a gymnasium. This building is now transformed into The Orangery ballroom.
Rise Hall Convent School for girls was open until 1989, when it closed due to falling numbers. The nuns stayed on until 1995 to run religious retreats, holidays, weekend courses and meetings.
The hall was then empty for several years and increasingly derelict in places, when it was bought by TV host and property expert Sarah Beeny and her husband, artist Graham Swift. They undertook a huge programme of restoration, including renovating the roof and guttering, and dealing with wet and dry rot. The house was repainted and decorative plasterwork repaired. The couple used their extensive knowledge of property to recreate key features such as the dining room fireplace, which had been stolen.
The restoration was televised as Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare for Channel 4, and broadcast in 2010 and 2011. It also covers their battle to turn Rise Hall into a luxury wedding and events venue.
LUXURY WEDDINGS AND EVENTS
Sarah Beeny and her husband Graham Swift built a successful wedding and events business at Rise Hall, which helped to pay for further renovations to the buildings and grounds. However they gradually realised that being based in London they were not able to give the business their full attention and decided to sell.
In April 2019 Rise Hall was sold to Helen & Daniel Gill, owners of catering and events firm Dine. Dine had been advising Sarah & Graham since 2010 and working at the Hall, so were thrilled to be able to take it on.
Since purchasing Rise Hall, Helen and Dan have begun their own extensive renovation programme, improving facilities and giving Rise Hall the 21st century comforts customers demand.