The Lord Lister Hotel was originally a Wool-comber's House built in the late 18th Century, and was owned by Thomas Williams. Guests of the Hotel will notice immediately the age of the building; particularly the traditional coach archway which heralds the entrance to the car-park. The building later became a Quaker school known as the Isaac Brown Academy and many of our eminent 19th century scientists were educated here.
The most famous of these was Lord Joseph Lister (1827 – 1912). Joseph Lister attended Benjamin Abbott's Isaac Brown Academy, modern day Lord Lister Hotel, for four years. Joseph Lister took up the concept of the presence of germs as a catalyst for disease from Louis Pasteur and went on to pioneer sterile operations and became known as the 'father of antiseptics' with particular reference to his use of carbolic acid. In addition to this accolade Lord Lister researched the best way to bind a wound in order to stem infection and as such is recognized as contributing to the fundamentals of modern surgery. Joseph Lister became a baronet in 1885 and succeeded in becoming a Peer of the Realm at the second jubilee of King Edward VII
The school was partially burnt down by fire in 1845, it was rebuilt and the top floor was probably added at that time. The cellars are very old and there is reputed to be a tunnel from them, across to the nearby 14th century Carmelite monastery, The Hitchin Priory.
The frontage has remained unchanged from that period and is a fine example of early Victorian architecture. The house was renamed Scott House in 1887, until it became the Lister House Hotel in 1930.
The Lord Lister Hotel has been owned by husband and wife; Nick and Josie Raviele since 1998 and they have lovingly maintained and ran the hotel with their two daughters. It is their years of dedication to the Lord Lister Hotel which has kept guests coming back year after year, always welcomed by the same family-orientated, warm and friendly atmosphere that is such an important feature in the appeal of the building.