The Talbot is inseparable from the early sporting history of Malton
At the core of The Talbot Hotel is a 16th-century private mansion that came to prominence in Malton in the 1660s, at the time of the restoration of the monarchy by King Charles II, and with it the revival in England of the previously banned sport of kings – horse racing.
The North Yorkshire nobility and gentry established Malton as a major centre for horse racing, and for racehorse breeding and training. The mansion that now forms the main part of The Talbot Hotel became an elegant guest house where friends of its owner stayed during the town’s increasingly popular race meetings as well as for fox hunting and hare coursing events. In 1743 the mansion was extensively modernised and converted into a high-class commercial inn, named The Talbot. It became an important coaching inn on the busy road between historic York and Scarborough, the leading port, spa town, and sea-bathing resort. Malton also attracted visitors to its own spa-water spring.
The Watson-Wentworth family, who owned The Talbot as part of their manor of Malton, rose to great prominence in 1765 when Charles Watson-Wentworth, the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, became Prime Minister. After his death, The Talbot was involved in a great election scandal when the then custodian of the manor, the 4th Earl Fitzwilliam, issued notices to quit to 140 of his Malton tenants who had dared to vote against the earl’s nominees for the town’s two seats in the House of Commons.
Although Malton Races ceased in 1904, The Talbot Hotel continued to be the social hub for the remaining racing community of some of the nation’s top owners, breeders, and trainers. Major expansion of the hotel came after the Second World War, and it was hugely upgraded in 2010 by a £4m refurbishment. The Talbot continues to be owned by the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate and, while under the operational control of the Coaching Inn Group, it supports Malton’s newly emerging reputation as the ‘food capital of Yorkshire’.