About The Rose Castle Company

Our Mission

From its earliest incarnation in 1230 to the present day, Rose Castle has borne witness to political and religious change, been pillaged, burned and rebuilt.

The Rose Castle Company has renovated the castle once again, transforming it into a unique destination for group stays, events, weddings and peace and reconciliation programmes operated by the Rose Castle Foundation.

Our mission is to ensure the revenue needed to support teams of catering, hospitality and housekeeping at the castle and to maintain the building at a high level of comfort for all who stay here.

Any trading profits are recycled into the hard and soft fabric of Rose Castle, to invest for its longevity and sustainability.

 

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We are passionately involved in preserving and updating the unique castle and its surroundings, to support the work of the Rose Castle Foundation.

Hospitality

We help you to be the host, giving your guests an unforgettable experience and creating lasting memories.

The Rose Castle Company introduces guests to a special style of hospitality, inspired by the social heart agenda of the Rose Castle Foundation's pioneering work, bringing people together as guest and host.

Hospitality

We help you to be the host, giving your guests an unforgettable experience and creating lasting memories.

The Rose Castle Company introduces guests to a special style of hospitality, inspired by the social heart agenda of the Rose Castle Foundation's pioneering work, bringing people together as guest and host.

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Space to Explore

The castle, the estate and the Lake District too

We hope all visitors to Rose Castle can step beyond the splendid rooms to experience the moat woodland, the vaulted dungeon within Strickland Tower, and to climb the circular stone steps to the roof turrets, witnessing panoramic views of Rose Castle set against the Lakeland fells that lie beyond.

Space to Explore

The castle, the estate and the Lake District too

We hope all visitors to Rose Castle can step beyond the splendid rooms to experience the moat woodland, the vaulted dungeon within Strickland Tower, and to climb the circular stone steps to the roof turrets, witnessing panoramic views of Rose Castle set against the Lakeland fells that lie beyond.

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The People Behind the Vision

Rose Castle was purchased by the Rose Castle  Company from the Church Commissioners in 2016 as a space for the Rose Castle Foundation to train reconcilers, equipping them to transform conflict within their own spheres of influence. The Rose Castle Company was incorporated to take responsibility for maintaining the grade 1 listed castle and gardens, investing substantial funds directly in its refurbishment.

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Desert Hospitality

In their first years of marriage, John and Sarah Snyder spent time living with desert nomads and people groups in the Sahara Desert. It was the extraordinary hospitality they experienced that has inspired much of their work today. Sarah founded the Rose Castle Foundation charity in 2014 to focus on equipping the next generation of reconcilers, and John later co-founded the Rose Castle Company in 2016 with friends to help purchase and maintain the castle for use by a groups and their guests.

John says, "We aim to create a different style of hospitality, one that resonates with what we observed in the desert. These people who welcome the enemy. Who will invite them in, make them tea, talk for hours and exchange world news, before going about their way. We wanted to bring a style of host-guest welcome to everyone who comes to Rose Castle.” 

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John Snyder

John’s 30-year career in software and working with startups includes co-founding Grapeshot, a software technology that empowers the world’s most iconic brands to bring relevance to every customer experience.

With a career built on unlocking the world of digital technology to understand the customer, John saw a gap in the hospitality market. A need to move away from an overly transactional model of hospitality, towards one that really understands the customer.

John’s mission is to make each stay at Rose Castle so fundamentally different to a hotel. A place to feel the comfort and openness of the extraordinary hospitality, to soak in the rose-coloured sandstone buildings, to feel the majesty and tranquility of the gardens and grounds, and to feel an emotional and spiritual connection to this place and space.

“How many hotels do you go to where they ask for your name, even though you’ve been there before? I wanted to fuse together a passion for making information smart in the hospitality sector with the extraordinary style of hospitality we experienced in the desert and that delegates see delivered within the Rose Castle Foundation programmes.”

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Sarah Snyder

Sarah is Founding Director of the Rose Castle Foundation and until 2021 the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Advisor for Reconciliation. Sarah has dedicated her career to working with communities and senior religious figures to promote faith-based ways of finding peace and building relationships, often across deep divides within and between faiths across the globe.

Whilst an active member of the Cumbria Community Foundation, Sarah first heard the Church Commissioners were considering selling Rose Castle in 2009. It was then that the idea for the Rose Castle Foundation was born.

Sarah’s vision for Rose Castle was to transform a fortress castle into a safe space for peace and reconciliation, where those who have lived their lives back-to-back can meet face-to-face. The Rose Castle Foundation brings together emerging faith leaders from across divides to reimagine their role as reconcilers in a shared future together.

“Our existence is so closely tied to the story of Rose Castle. Having a real place that symbolises the story of what we do is important. Rose Castle has been fought over, ransacked, and rebuilt over centuries. But it has also been a house of prayer over 800 years. We wanted to open it as a house of warm hospitality that seeks to unite enemies instead of pushing them apart.”

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Rose Castle Foundation & Rose Castle Company

Whilst the Foundation works to train and equip people as reconcilers back in their own communities across the globe, the Rose Castle Company is a 'not-for-shareholder' profit organisation using trading profits to plough back into and maintain the castle building, hospitality staff and infrastructure of this unique place. The Bishops' fortress castle and palace home has welcomed the wider community through its gates and walls for the past 800 years.  With only a short interlude during Cromwell's era of the English Civil War, the Rose Castle Company is now only the third owner of the castle and estate since 1230. The Company aims to continue the Bishops' hospitality to the outside world, provide an HQ and "safe space" for delegates of the Foundation's residential programmes, and offer you too the opportunity to host your own groups within this magical setting of historical castle and gardens.

"The Rose Castle Foundation is our inspiration and purpose behind Rose Castle Company."

Faces of Rose Castle

Janet Queen

Head Gardener

John Snyder

Director - Rose Castle Company

Sarah Snyder

Founding Director - Rose Castle Foundation

Make your own memories at Rose Castle

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