Our History 

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The Diglis House Hotel, standing proud by the River Severn is a grade II listed building bursting with history and character. We pride ourselves on our blend of traditional and contemporary country house hospitality. 

We believe our hotel is the ideal venue for all occasions with the picturesque views that William Leader once gained inspiration.


     In 1483, Richard III granted Friar Thomas Jonys a meadow called ‘Digley’ in the city of Worcester to use at his pleasure. It was on this site that the Diglis House was first built under the reign of King George III. The first printed documentation appeared on a map dating 1764, however the building pre-dates this by some 15 years.



It is believed the name ‘Diglis’ came from the French term d’eglise, meaning ‘of the church’.


In the 19th Century, the house was occupied by one of the most remarkable families to live in Worcester. Head of the family, Edward Leader-Williams, was the Chief Engineer to the Severn Navigation Commission and the city’s resident engineering surveyor. Additionally, he was responsible for the construction of the Diglis locks and weir, only a short walk from the hotel.

   His son, Benjamin, went on to become a famous landscape artist responsible for many fine paintings (under the reversed name, Benjamin Williams Leader). Edward, himself was a keen artist and friend of John Constable. Benjamin would often accompany them on sketching trips along the River Severn.

    Benjamin’s brother, Edward, followed in his father’s footsteps becoming Chief Engineer of the Manchester Ship Canal. 

Benjamin Williams Leader once said,

“The subjects of my pictures are mostly English. I have painted in Switzerland, Scotland, and a great deal of North Wales, but I prefer our English home scenes. Riversides at evening time, country lanes and commons, and the village church, are subjects that I love and am never tired of painting”.

(as quoted in Lewis Luck’s “The Works of B.W. Leader, RA,” The Art Journal, London, 1901 Christmas Issue, p. 30).

     There is no doubt that Benjamin Williams Leader gained inspiration from his childhood Diglis House that led him to create stunning landscape paintings. 

Through various owners the name changed many times and in 1924 was named ‘The Diglis House Hotel’. Thirty years later the building was listed as a grade II property.

Unveiled in 2012, Blue Plaques can be found at the Diglis House Hotel in honour of Benjamin Williams Leader.

Our lounge area is also named ‘The William Leader’, decorated with replicas of his work, it is the perfect place for a relaxing drink and a catch up with friends.