In the year 1403, Hotspur, son of the Earl of Northumberland, was killed at the battle of Shrewsbury. On hearing of the death of his son the Earl went to see the King, Henry IV, and after promising to submit to his rule was pardoned, and released without punishment. A few years later the Earl raised another army and started a rebellion. He came down to Yorkshire and met the King at the battle of Bramham Moor, where he was defeated and killed.
Some two hundred years later, in 1644, the Civil War between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians was well under way. Both sides were weak and needing extra help, so the Royalists obtained part of the Irish Army and the Parliamentarians part of the Scottish Army. In the meantime, however, Cromwell was training farmers' sons in and around the district of Bowcliffe Hall, such young farmers were accustomed to riding and were ideal for cavalry. The climax came at the Battle of Marston Moor when Cromwell, at the head of the Ironsides, defeated the Royalists.
About the year 1805 William Robinson bought the land in the region of Bramham and began to build Bowcliffe Hall. He was a cotton spinner from Manchester, and went bankrupt soon after work on the house started, with the result that he had to sell the house as it stood (the present West Wing). The new purchaser was John Smyth and the price involved was £2000. Smyth then set to work on completing the house and forming the gardens. When he died in 1840 the house passed into the hands of his sister Lydia Osbourne and Catherine Mason; they never lived in the house, but it was put into trust by them until such time as it could be sold.
The house was bought by George Lane Fox of Bramham Park, the Park having been destroyed by fire in 1828. He died in 1848 leaving his debts amounting to £175,000, and his eldest son George, succeeded him. He was known over most of Yorkshire as "The Squire", and it is said he used to drive the London-Glasgow mail coach. He was a great sportsman , and in the same year he had the Bramham Moor hounds returned to their native village from Harewood, where they had been kept since the death of James Fox in 1821. The Squire died in 1896 and was succeeded by his second son, as the eldest had decided to devote his life to religion. Lord Bingley, whilst living at Bowcliffe, started work on the rebuilding of Bramham Park, and the Lane Fox family eventually moved there in 1906.
Bowcliffe Hall was empty for a short time, but in 1908 was taken over by a Mr. W. G. Jackson. It is known that he lived in the house for about twelve years.
The last private owner of Bowcliffe Hall was Mr. Robert Blackburn who bought the house in 1920. He was a famous aircraft pioneer, connected with the North Sea Aerial Navigation Company; chairman of Blackburn Aircraft Ltd., and the founder of the Flag School at Brough for the training of officers of the Air Reserve. In 1912 he built a one-seater two engined plane and he was also the owner of a plane which won the "War of the Air Trophy", presented by the Yorkshire Evening Post. Although Mr. Blackburn was connected with aircraft all his life he never took out a pilot's licence.
Bowcliffe Hall is now home to the Bayford Group of Companies.