ONE of Worcestershire’s best-known country hotels is on the market.

The Hundred House at Great Witley, which stands on a crossroads linking Worcester, Tenbury Wells, Bromyard and Kidderminster, once served as a courthouse dispensing particularly harsh justice in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Hotels director Peter Brunt, of selling agents Colliers, said: “The Hundred House dates back to the 17th century and was where those living in the Donnington Hundred paid their tithes.

“It was later used as the local court house, where guilty parties were led to face the gallows on the green opposite.

“It is believed there was an underground passage from the hotel under the road to facilitate their last journey.

“The house has remained a focal point for locals and visitors alike ever since – although for much happier reasons – and its prominent position makes it an ideal venue for functions, weddings and parties.”

The original house on the site was replaced by the present building by Lord Foley who owned nearby Witley Court. The house, which is now grade two-listed, was described in the County History of Worcestershire as a “famous old inn, of great importance in coaching days.”

Alongside the 27 letting bedrooms and a manager’s flat there are flexible banquetting facilities.

The lounge bar seats about 50 with a further 25 covers in the adjoining dining room. The Abberley Suite has its own private bar servery and can dine up to 130. There is also a three-bedroom flat comprising lounge, kitchen, bathroom, double bedroom and two single rooms available for a resident manager or owner.

Mr Brunt said: “The present ownership and management partnership have enjoyed excellent trading conditions over the past 12 years. However, the effect of the recession on trade and the need for modernisation and improvement has led to a reluctant decision to sell.

“The business itself is now at a crossroads and after much consideration the decision has been taken to sell the hotel and give others the opportunity to take advantage of this sleeping giant.”

The asking price is £750,000.