Family Tree Visitors to Historic Bilton Hall
Bilton Hall Nursing Home, which part of the We Care Group, situated in Knaresborough,
Harrogate, is used to welcoming visitors to the home, as families come to look round when
looking for a care home for a loved one but, the home has recently welcomed two visitors
wanting to look round for an entirely different reason!
Belinda Smith, who has been researching her family history, discovered a distant cousin,
John Atkinson-Jowett, had owned the property in the 1940’s. Belinda and her sister, Alison
Turner, were keen to visit the home so they could visualise how he must have lived and what
life must have been like for him living in such a splendid building.
The sisters were particularly interested to see the stained-glass windows which depict the
Atkinson-Jowett family coat of arms, which is a combination of the Atkinson family and the
Jowett family which were combined in the 19 th Century.
From research Belinda has discovered that John Atkinson-Jowett was born in 1870 and was
a gentleman/landowner. Originally he had land in Bradford which he sold and subsequently
bought Bilton Hall which is now a Grade II listed building set in over 7 acres of landscaped
gardens and mature woodland and was purchased by the We Care Group in 2008.
Belinda Smith said “It was lovely to be able to visit Bilton Hall which once belonged to John
Atkinson-Jowett, a cousin of my great grandfather. I remember as a child my granny used to
talk about him as cousin John, little did I know that he lived in such a magnificent building.
It was lovely to see the Atkinson-Jowett coat of arms on the stained-glass window close up
and walk round the building following in his footsteps some 80 years later.” She continued “I
am writing a book about my family history and the wonderful photo’s we have been able to
take at Bilton Hall will enhance that particular section of the book.”
Piriya Suresparan, Operations Manager at We Care Group said “It was lovely to meet with
Belinda and Alison and show them around the home, particularly the original parts of the
building and to find out about John Atkinson-Jowett and imagining his lifestyle as a country
gentleman with servants.” She continued “The visit certainly made me appreciate how much
history there is in the building and imagine John entertaining in the large lounge area with a
big open fire, the grand staircase to the first floor to what would have been the master
bedroom and passage ways that the servants must have used to discreetly move about the
building. We Care Group have taken care to maintain as many of the existing features as
possible for future generations to enjoy.” She continued “Residents at Bilton Hall certainly
thrive in the luxurious environment and enjoy the wonderful views over Knaresborough and
Bilton Hall have recently celebrating Care Home Open Week with an open afternoon and
welcomed a number of people from the local community looking for a care home for
themselves or a loved one who came and had a look around and they too were delighted to
see all that the home can offer. To find out more or to arrange a visit please call the home on