Although Pendley Manor is now one of the most recognisable hotels in Hertfordshire, its story stretches back nearly 1,000 years and includes some famous names.
The Manor dates back to the Doomsday Book, when it was confiscated in 1066 by William the Conqueror and passed to his brother in law, Earl Moreton.
Jon de Angle, reputed to have been the first Member of Parliament, became the Manor's next owner, before it was passed to the Verney family when Sir Robert Whittingham's daughter married John Verney. The Verney family lived at the Manor for the next 150 years.
The Anderson family then occupied the Manor for the next four generations, prior to it being inherited by the Harcourt family. Sir William Harcourt abandoned the Manor in the 19th century, having objected to the building of the railway. It was burnt down in 1835.
Local landowner Joseph Grout Williams commissioned architect John Lion to build a new Tudor style Manor in 1872. He then occupied the Manor from 1875 until his death in 1923 when his widow stayed in the house until her death in 1943. Dorian Williams, his nephew who had a great love of horses and was the original television show jumping commentator, opened it in 1945 as the first Residential Centre for Adult Education in the country. In 1983 it was sold to the Grass Roots Company. In 1987, the Manor was purchased by an independent Hotelier and in 1989 it re-opened as a Country House Hotel. In 1991 an extension incorporating The Harcourt Ballroom and 73 new bedrooms was completed, and in 2001 a swimming pool and spa were also incorporated.