The history of an 18th century Shropshire hotel is so fascinating to guests that they have repeatedly stolen booklets put inside hotel bedrooms, it was claimed today.
Hotelier Mark Lewis said that 30 copies of a 50 page book on the history of Hadley Park House in Telford had gradually vanished in the past few months.
Guests had ignored a polite plea written on the front of the books, not to remove them from the hotel.
Mr Lewis said ‘The house does have a fascinating history so we thought we would document it all in a specially bound folder which we put into the bedrooms for guests to read. But they obviously felt it was so interesting, they just couldn’t put it down and they have taken it home with them.’
The laminated folder contains details on the three storey Georgian mansion, a grade two listed building, dating from the 1770’s and home to a number of prominent Shropshire families. Thomas Telford is believed to have visited the house when he worked on the design for the nearby Hadley Park lock gates for Shrewsbury canal. There was a grand entrance from Hadley Park Road, which now forms part of the Silkin Way, to the once formidable 345 acre estate which also included a lodge, farmhouse, farmland and the county’s only combined water and windmill.
Victorian entrepreneur Joseph Sankey bought the property in 1941 to be next to GKN Sankey and it was later used as a home for Japanese visitors in the 1990’s by Mitutoyo before being becoming a hotel.
‘Hadley Park House was a fascinating property to research’ said the report’s compiler Jill Ming, of Church Stretton, who runs Buildings Beginnings, a house history research service. ‘It has been home to farmers, engineers and businessmen and been an important part of the area’s history.’
The folder also contains copies of original sale documents, deeds, maps, wills and a chronicle of the families who had lived at the house. ‘It is definitely a good read and contains detailed information on important parts of Shropshire’s history. We are having the books re-printed and just hope that guests will leave them behind this time.’ said Mark.