The Hurworth Hunt is steeped in history, being one of the oldest hunts in the country. The early history of the pack is not easy to unravel, but the first official records commence in 1803 when the Wilkinson brothers of Neasham Abbey took over the pack.
There is however, earlier reference to a pack being kept by a Mr Turner of Hurworth in 1775, and in 1790 "Nimrod" refers to the Hurworth's foxhounds.
The Hurworth's history has not always run smoothly and in 1926 the pack was sold due to financial difficulties. However, the following year, Colonel Bell of Mount Grace Priory financed the construction of the Hunt kennels at West Rounton, near Northallerton, where the hounds are kennelled to this day.
The first puppy show was held there in 1929, under the Mastership of Colonel R.G.S.Gordon who retired in 1936. In 1936 Eleanor Mary Furness became Master. Known to all subsequent Hurworth devotees as "Miss Mary" she continued in the Mastership until 1971, joined for a time between 1946 and 1955 by Mr F.W.Furness.
Miss Mary was greatly respected as an authority on the Old English Foxhound and remembered for her enormous contribution to the rejuvenation and maintenance of the Hunt. A small book of the time "Foxhunting in Yorkshire" refers to her successful mastership as follows:-
"She hates publicity, her sole aim being to maintain the long tradition of the pack and to show sport to her friends and neighbours - be they landowners, farmers, townspeople or foot folk" ....a commendable view!!
Miss Mary had an excellent relationship with the local farmers. Indeed, to mark their appreciation of her work during the war years with the hunt, they presented her with a figure of a silver hound. They also formed a committee during the war "running dances and raising funds", according to records of the time.
The Hunt continues to be ably supported by its various committees. The Hunt Farmers’ Committee, which continues with its fundraising activities, together with the Hunt Supporters’ Committee, formed in 1957, are to be commended for their enthusiastic contribution to the maintenance of the Hunt in these difficult times.