Engraving showing the Harrogate Arms, Bath House and gardens, c1857
Engraving showing the Harrogate Arms, Bath House and gardens, c1857

RHS Harlow Carr announces plans for historic Harrogate Arms

1 December 2022

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has this week filed a planning application to re-establish the historic landscape connection between RHS Garden Harlow Carr and the former Harrogate Arms, bringing the beautiful Grade II listed building back into use for the first time in a decade.

Originally built in 1844 by then-owner of the estate Henry Wright, the Harrogate Arms and the nearby Bath House were set in pleasure gardens which are now part of RHS Harlow Carr. Reconnecting the landscape to the buildings represents an important link with the garden’s past and the local heritage of Harrogate as a spa town.

The Bath House now serves as an exhibition and event space within the garden, while the former hotel will be converted for use as an RHS-run café with links to the Kitchen Garden. The surrounding area will be landscaped to emphasise views into the garden.

The charity was previously granted planning and listed building consent for the re-use of the Harrogate Arms as a café in 2019. The new application to redevelop the landscape and restore the connection between the hotel and the garden requires the diversion of a public right of way. If the plans are approved, this will be the final step in the process and work will commence in early 2023.

A number of local stakeholders have been kept informed of the process, including the Harrogate Group of Ramblers, which has indicated no objection to the proposals to move the public right of way. The RHS has also collaborated with a local college to look at menu ideas for the new café, which will make use of fresh, seasonal produce from RHS Harlow Carr’s Kitchen Garden.

Head of RHS Harlow Carr Liz Thwaite said:

We are delighted to be at the final stage of seeking approval of our plans for the Harrogate Arms. This project has been a long time in the making, as we wanted to create something fresh and exciting for our visitors that celebrates our rich heritage. We hope that our members and visitors will lend their support to our application.

Interested parties can view the planning application and leave comments on Harrogate Borough Council’s website here: https://uniformonline.harrogate.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=RM2IMIHYIM900&activeTab=summary

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