Etrop Grange was known as Moss House but was locally known as Moss’s Folly by the older residents of the area. A schoolteacher called William Moss originally built the House or his wife in 1780.
Since being built, the surrounding area has significantly changed, from fine gardens, where William used to stand dressed in his powder wig and stockings, to a private residence, and now to an elegant 4 Star Grade II, Georgian Hotel within half a mile of Manchester International Airport.
Charles Hulbert (Memoirs of Seventy Years of an Eventful Life, 1852), believes, ‘Mr Moss, though a stranger was no doubt a gentleman of great respectability. He most probably had a servant but to make up for want of society, he had made several wax figures which were elegantly and fashionably attired, one of which it was said he called Mrs Moss! At dinner she was placed at the head of the table, the other figures being guests. After dinner they were all seated opposite the window as if observing the passersby and many a countryman’s bow the ladies received, which delighted Mr Moss. The cause of this eccentricity was reported to be the loss of his beloved wife. Mr Moss had the manners and attire of a real gentleman of these days. He wore occasionally a cocked hat, light brown coat, scarlet waistcoat with flaps, nearly to his knees threaded or so stockings and large handsome silver shoe buckles.’
A coach House known as White Lodge was added in1812 and later a coachman’s living quarters were built.
Moss House remained a private residence, although during the Second World War it was requisitioned by the RAF based at nearby Ringway Airport, now Manchester International Airport. During the late 19th century it was used as a Sunday school.
In 1958 a Mrs Morley, purchased the house and lived in there for the next 26 years. She let the two top floors to airhostesses from Manchester Airport where it developed something of a notorious reputation for the parties, which were held up there. The top floor was once servant’s quarters, and an extension to the original building was built in the Victorian era. In 1984 John and Sue Roebuck bought the house from Mrs Morley and lived on the top floor. They renamed their home Etrop Grange after a local area called Etrop Green – now the car park between Etrop Grange and Terminal 2.
Mr & Mrs Roebuck opened the lower level of Etrop Grange as a restaurant on the 13th November 1985. During the summer, after sympathetic restoration the first three bedrooms were ready to receive guests.
The White Lodge Extension (now rooms 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22) opened in September 1991 and the Coach House opened in November 1991. The hotel was commended this year by the North West Tourist Board following the £3m refurbishment, bringing the hotel up to 26 bedrooms.
In August 1994, Regal Hotels bought part of the business. John and Sue Roebuck remained as directors of the hotel.
The high standards of the hotels, Coach House Restaurant, led to it being awarded 1 AA Red Rosette. This happened in 1995, then during the summer of 1996, the Restaurant acquired its 2nd AA Rosette for its standard of food. This award was retained in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
The final 26 new bedrooms were opened in 1998, (now 64 bedrooms). 1998 was a very successful year for the hotel as it won the Silver Medal English Tourist Board Hotel of the Year. The hotels civil wedding license was also obtained in this year.
In March 1999 the Regal Hotel Group ‘rebranded’ and became Corus Hotels. Over the next few years, a refurbishment program commenced. This consisted of new carpets, and the refurbishment of rooms 11 and 15.
In 2006, Folio Hotels acquired Etrop Grange, along with 16 other hotels and set out to refurbish Etrop Grange at a cost of £1.8 million pounds. The hotel’s bedrooms were brought up to date with the addition of air-con, flat screen TV’s and free hi speed Wi-Fi. The public areas were totally renovated throughout, and as you can see, it still keeps its Georgian charm.
In 2008 Folio Hotels rebranded as Mulbourne Ltd but traded as Folio Hotels.
In 2009/10 Sonoma Hotels acquired Etrop Grange along with 7 other hotels. During this period the restaurant was moved from what is now the Drawing Room to where the Drawing Room used to be and was re-named the Wine Glass Restaurant. We now have the Etrop Suite which is the Drawing Room and Coach House combined through an open partition. This can cater for up to 200 guests for a function.
In July 2013 Squire Hotels bought Etrop Grange and are due to give the hotel a refurbishment as well as amassing a new portfolio of hotels.
Etrop to this day still retains its 4 star AA Award and carries a 1 AA Red Rosette for its culinary work in the Wine Glass Restaurant.
© Copyright 2015.