There’s a lot of history within our walls
The name ‘Northcote’ comes from the Old English words “norð“, meaning “north” and “cot“, meaning “cottage” or “shelter”.
Dating back to 1000AD…
Our beautiful North Devonshire manor hotel started life as a monastery, a sanctuary for Benedictine monks and friars who called the area home in around 1000 A.D. In our main lounge you’ll see a mural depicting the original religious inhabitants of Northcote Manor.
The manor became crown property following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. King Henry VIII owned the manor for 21 years, leasing it out to Thomas de Soulemont, a courtier.
After many years, the manor was given to Tavistock Abbey. At one point the manor was granted, with the rest of its possessions, to a John Lord Russell.
The original manor was located a couple of hundred yards South West from the present building, where the New Wing Rooms can be found today.
The Georgian Manor
The new manor was built in 1716. A commemorative plaque celebrating the opening can be seen above the entrance to the manor house restaurant.
Much of the original Georgian architecture is still intact, including the restaurant and the quiet lounge. The North East wing is Victorian and was added to the manor house in the middle of the 19th century.
Many esteemed (and famous) people and families have lived within Northcote Manor’s walls. These include The Right Honourable Sir Stafford Northcote MP, the Melhuish family, Reverend Thomas of Wellington, Sir Harold Taggert Fourth Earl of Portsmouth, and Colonel Gracey. Northcote was passed by marriage several times from the families of Russell, Hankford, and Pollard before it became the property of Richard Babbage, an important figure in local and national history.
Northcote Manor first welcomed guests in 1972 and has been a respected country house hotel ever since. Northcote Manor is a true place of hospitality and tranquillity, and we are very proud of our heritage.
Sharp-eyed visitors will notice the coat of arms and legend above the front door. The Latin text reads, “I follow the light”. This motto remains to this day.