The Gilsland Convalescent Home Society Ltd

Scope and Content

Rule books, financial documents, postcard, annual reports, correspondence

Administrative / Biographical History

The Gilsland Spa Hotel as it is now known is a country hotel and grounds with a lengthy history. The area became popular with tourists thanks to the presence of Sulphureted and Chalybeate Spas as well as picturesque surroundings in the 18th and 19th Centuries. This led to the development of an earlier hotel on the site known as The Shaws in the 1740s. The original hotel burnt down in 1859 and was replaced with the present structure by G.G Mounsey and continued to be known as The Shaws. During the latter part of the 19th Century it functioned as a luxury Spa Hotel leased to the Gilsland Spa Hotel and Hydro Company in South Shields before the company collapsed in 1900 owing to the expensive running costs of the hotel.

In 1900 following a Sectional Conference at Gateshead the Co-operative Wholesale Society decided that there was a need to establish a Co-operative Convalescent Home in the North of England. The following year a report submitted to the Annual Sectional Conference stated that The Shaws Hotel , Gilsland had been offered as a choice for the home. The home was officially opened to receive visitors in 1901 registered as The Gilsland Convalescent Home Society Ltd.

Co-operative members used the hotel for convalescence in the early 20th Century until the outbreak of the First World War during which the hotel was used by Military Authorities as a hospital and convalescence home for soldiers before they were sent back to the front line. During the Second World War the hotel was used as maternity hospital and was known locally as The Home.

Although the Co-operative Wholesale Society continued to own the home since 1972, the property has been established as the Gilsland Spa Hotel and functioning largely as a family holiday centre. Following extensive development today the hotel functions as a luxury spa hotel catering for individual parties, weddings, banquets and conferences.

Access Information

Some material maybe restricted please contact the archive for details. All open materials, can be viewed by previous arrangement, Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm. Contact the Archivist at:National Co-operative Archive, Co-operative College, Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester, M60 0AS,

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Alex Addyman, volunteer, March 2011.