Cober Hill, Scarborough

John Wilhelm Rowntree had the idea of developing a centre where people working in education, social service, and other voluntary and charitable activity could gather for residential courses and conferences. His cousin Arnold Rowntree brought that vision to fulfilment by the purchase in 1920 of a splendid Victorian mansion in Cloughton, Cober Hill, set overlooking spectacular cliffs and backed by the North Yorkshire Moors, with six acres of gardens.

Arnold wanted to provide space and facilities for groups reflecting his interests in Adult School Movement and also for families who wanted something more than a conventional holiday by the seaside that was relatively inexpensive.

For the past 90 years that vision has been amply fulfilled, and under the guidance of its two principal shareholders, two of the Rowntree Trusts, Cober Hill’s buildings, facilities and grounds have been steadily enhanced and its user groups widened.They include business residential meetings, special interest courses and family reunions, as well as school groups with a particular emphasis on schools from relatively deprived areas and on children who wouldn’t otherwise experience such mind-broadening outdoor activities.

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