Priding ourselves on the traditional values of honesty and service with a smile, the friendly staff at the Great Northern Hotel in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, always welcome you with open arms. With a variety of rooms available, you are sure to enjoy your stay. Wedding and business packages are offered, and a high-quality restaurant is available with standout food sourced from trustworthy suppliers. Built in 1852, the building oozes character, and is perfect for you.
About The Great Northern Hotel
Sit back and relax in extreme comfort at the Great Northern Hotel. With friendly staff and delicious food, we have everything you need to have a great nights’ sleep. Deluxe, Superior, and Suite rooms are available, and we have an in-house restaurant that services delicious meals to all customers, whether you are staying in the hotel or not. All breakfasts are cooked to order, and the food is incredibly affordable.
Events are also hosted at our venue, and we make sure yours in one to remember. Suiting all your needs, our experts provide birthday, anniversary, wedding, and wake packages. Corporate packages are also available for conferences. No matter the size of your group, we have small rooms for two to three people right up to a fantastic ballroom that seats more than 100. Meeting all your needs, we endeavour to provide the service that you are looking for.
Opening on April 1st, 1852, The Great Northern Hotel started life linked closely to the nearby railway. At a cost of £2,500, and designed by architect Henry Goddard, the hotel entered the world. In the beginning, the Great Northern Railway (GNR) company owned the hotel, but allowed its management to rent the hotel and employ the staff. In 1857, prestigious American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne stayed at the hotel. He described it as ‘wretched and uncomfortable’, which reflected the standards of the time. After a number of disputes over the extension of the lease, the GNR took over the management by the 1860s.
After this period, the standards began to improve. A fascinating insight into life in the early 20th century was discovered in the hotel archives. Information given by Laura Beken, a chambermaid who started working at the hotel in 1935 at the age of 25, allows us to see what life was like.
Her normal working day started at 6am and ended at 10pm, with two hours off in between. Unmarried staff lived in the hotel, and women were accommodated above the kitchen as it was warm during the winter. Chambermaids bought their own uniforms, which consisted of a blue dress for the mornings and a black one for the afternoons. They earned 10 shillings per week, including accommodation and meals, and the staff had the pick of whatever was left on the menu. In the late 1930s, the bathrooms were the only rooms that had radiators, so the building was freezing cold during the winter. Guests were therefore provided with hot water bottles. Laura worked at the hotel until it closed down due to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939.
The hotel was closed to the public throughout the war, and was occupied by staff from the GNR’s King’s Cross office. The two main bedroom wings were thought to be reserved for VIPs that were forced to stay during the blitz in London.
Re-opening in November 1949 after extensive repairs, the hotel gained popularity due to its close proximity to the railway station. In the 1950s, it was extremely popular as a wedding reception. Comedian Ernie Wise was among those who celebrated at the hotel. In 2009, it was acquired by its current owner, and it has been refurbished over the years to embody its current high-standards. Known for its traditional and honest employees, you are sure to enjoy the service provided at this historic venue.