Mr W.H. Baxter bought the plot of land on which the hotel stands from Baroness de Ferrieres on 31st January 1889. At that time the King’s Road was called Walker Road.
The building of the house is thought to have started in 1891. The decorative plasterwork in the restaurant, main staircase banister and door timbers are all believed to be Mr Baxter’s original specification. He is believed to have seen the stained glass window over the main staircase in a Victorian church that was due to be demolished. He acquired the window and had it installed in the 1930’s.
Mr Baxter owned a road-building equipment firm in Leeds. His wealth derived particularly from a patent he owned on a “Knapping Machine”, used to break stones to make hardcore for roads. He owned the first electric car in Harrogate and was probably amongst the earliest commuters to Leeds. There are photos of this firm in the Ascot Lounge.