The Golf Club
In 1923 Lord Boyne, acting on a suggestion from his agent Major J. K Crawley and solicitor K. C. Bayley, made a decision to lay out a golf course on what was Brancepeth Castle Deer Park. The total amount of land designated was 140 acres, 3 roods and 24 perches where 1 Rood = 1/4 of an acre, 1 Perch = 51/2 sq. yards. The total area was therefore 140.80 acres and the length of the course 6210 yards. The architects engaged to design and lay down the golf course were H S Colt and his partner Major J S F Morrison, considered by many to be the leading architects of the day. The cost to Lord Boyne, including the conversion of the stables and the coach houses for use as a Club House was £10,000.
The course was run as a private concern until 1929 when an agreement was made to lease the golf course and premises at a modest rent. In the 1930's the Club prospered and had around 400 members including Leonard Crawley (English Close Champion 1931) and many more prominent Durham County Golfers. It has been and still is the venue for many county and inter-county events.
After the 1939-45 war Lord Boyne's executors sold Brancepeth estates to the Duke of Westminster and after the death of the latter in 1953 the estate was again sold to help pay heavy death duties. At that time the lease on the golf course came to an end and the future of the Club was uncertain.
In 1961, Club members subscribed almost £14,500, enough to buy the course and the Club House. Since that date the policy has been to stay as close to the Colt design and layout as possible and the course, generally speaking, has changed very little. The Club now has a full membership and is in a sound financial position. The future is assured and efforts continue, to be made to improve the condition of the course and the Club House amenities.
The Club House is built from natural stone hewn at Littleburn Quarry some two miles away and is entered by passing through an archway and crossing the original cobblestone court with its stone centrepiece, originally used as a watering trough for horses.