Rich In History & Tradition

History Of The Morritt

Read About The Long History Of This Classic Country Hotel

morritt squirrel divider gold

The 17th Century Days of the Mail Coach

The present Morritt dates back to the late 17th Century when there was a farm on the site. Some of the farm outbuildings were used until this century when they were converted into the hotel and surrounding buildings.

Through the 17th Century and the rise of the mail coach, Greta Bridge was the second overnight stop for the London-Carlisle coach, bringing with it a considerable number of visitors.

There were three inns at Greta Bridge, including The George, situated on the bridge on the other side of the river, and the New Inn, which is now Thorpe Farm.

The Dickensian Connection

In 1839 Charles Dickens visited Greta Bridge to research Nicholas Nickelby and highlight the hardship inflicted on their boys by certain Yorkshire schools.

Infamy came to Dotheboys Hall in Bowes, which is still visible today along with the headmaster’s grave in Bowes church cemetery. Dickens stayed at one of the inns in Greta Bridge – possibly The Morritt – and in the novel was the meeting point between Nicholas and Wackford Squeers.

The 18th & 19th Century – Art & Literature

At the end of the 18th Century and beginning of the 19th Century, famous painters such as Turner and Cotman painted many of the beauty spots in and around the River Greta. The Meeting of the Waters, a 20-minute walk from the hotel, is one of the best known.

Sir Walter Scott wrote about the area and particularly of Brignall Banks flowing down to the river. His epic poem, Rokeby, is set a mile down the road from The Morritt, toward Barnard Castle.

The association of art with The Morritt is clearly demonstrated today with the unique mural of Dickensian characters in The Dickens Bar. In 1946 John Gilroy, a well-known portrait and landscape artist famous for his advertising images for Guinness, completed the mural in just eleven days as a favour to Major Morritt – then owner – whom he coached as an amateur artist. Three of Major Morritt’s paintings hang in the hotel today, while Gilroy’s Dickensian faces are said to represent local characters of the time!

Our Delighted Clientele

Staff were lovely, hotel was lovely, food was brilliant and the beds were unbelievably comfy. Wouldn’t have got up other than the breakfast being perfect every morning. Will definitely be staying again.

Joe Jones

Nice old building that is easily accessible. Well appointed with properly trained staff. Been eating there for many years and always had a good experience. Interesting how some restaurants can produce a Sunday Lunch and some cannot. This is one of the can does. Splendid choice of starters and mains to match.
Give it a try. You won’t regret it.

Howard Walker

The garage spa is cute and compact and the staff were very welcoming and friendly. The treatments my group indulged in were gorgeous and we enjoyed the hot tubs, steam and salt rooms. Thoroughly relaxing and topped off with a yummy afternoon tea over at the hotel to end the day.

Karen Gair


Wedding Top Table


Relax & Unwind

Burns Cottage Living Room with fireplace


Self Catering

Wedding Top Table


Your Dream Wedding

Two glasses of prosecco



Contact Us

Get in touch, we will get back to you as soon as possible
Tel: 01833 627232 |
Greta Bridge | Nr. Barnard Castle Co. | Durham. DL12 9SE



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