Made of Dartmoor granite and standing as proudly as one of the moors famous stone Tors, Bovey Castle is a grand neo-Jacobean, Grade II Listed country house. From the moment you enter the granite archway into the courtyard, you are immersed in a style of country living usually reserved for the aristocratic families of yesteryear. This country house has all the craftsmanship and nostalgia of the Edwardian age though auspiciously is far more welcoming than the strict class system of those days!
A castle in name only, the luxury of Bovey is in contrast with the wuthering landscape of the Dartmoor national park in which it sits and here in is the secret to its success; as a family hotel in the great outdoors it can't be beat. Ramble in the hills during the day and you'll certainly have earned that relaxing spa in the evening!
History of Bovey Castle
In the late 1800's the inheritor of the W.H. Smith Empire, Sir William Henry Smith, was looking for a way to diversify his family’s wealth. The collapse of agricultural commodities (particularly cotton in Britain) meant that land was at an all-time low in 1890. William seized his opportunity and bought huge stretches of land from the earl of Devon. The move was a shrewd one; by the mid 1890's the financial markets were in deep depression as they were exposed to the over-expansion of the railways. The W.H. Smith franchise had been built on the growth of the railways during Britain's second industrial revolution so it is testament to the financial foresight of Sir William that they continued to grow their wealth even as depression set in. Read More
Interesting facts about Bovey Castle
1. In 1877, Sir William Henry Smith (1825-1891) was appointed as 1st Lord of the Admiralty. His appointment became the inspiration for the character of Sir Joseph Porter KCB, in the Gilbert & Sullivan musical H.M.S. Pinafore. In the play, Sir Joseph's rise from the bottom of society to the top of the Royal Navy, despite having no naval qualifications, mirrors William's rise in life. Yet despite the humble beginnings Sir Joseph is lampooned in the play as he remains aloof throughout. It is not known whether Sir William approved of the depiction or not but it was said that even Prime Minister Disraeli referred to Sir William as 'Pinafore Smith'! Read More