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The Stories behind the bedroom names.
The "Crown & Cushion" and "South Western" are the previous names of the house
when it was a coaching inn during the 17th and 18th Century. The house then contained 7 bedrooms, a dining room,
a drawing room, a bar, snug, kitchen, stabling for 30 horses, 4 cellars, 4 pigsties and a skittle alley.
Mr Pearce owned The Crown & Cushion but employed managers to run his business. Due to a legal battle over prostitutes, a police officer and the Duke he lost the licence and then re opened it as The Crown to the fury of the Duke.
When Mr Pearce retired and by the time the new remodeled town centre was built (around The Crown as Mr Pearce refused to sell to the Duke), Mr Pearce relented his life long argument with the Duke and sold the house to the Duke's Estate where it was then refurbished and renamed "The South Western Hotel" in the early 18c.
The South Western bedroom feature wall is decorated with a William Morris inspired wallpaper to reflect the famous stained glass window from 1876 that William Morris made using designs by Edward Burne-Jones in the St. Eustachius church on Bedford Square.
Etched into one of the Drawing Room windows you will find 18c graffiti when a 24 year old lodger and baker from Plymouth
wrote his name 'A. Bulley' and the name 'South Western Hotel, Tavistock' with an assumed diamond ring.
We know his name and age from researching the censuses from the time the house was the South Western Hotel.
Please ask to see the legal paperwork, mortgages and deeds that were recently found in the attic, from the early 1800s to 2004.
"Dartmoor" is called Dartmoor due to its views over Cox Tor on Dartmoor but also because when the Morris family lived in the house, Granny Morris insisted the window be installed into her room so she could wake up every morning to see Cox Tor from her bed. The Morris Family lived in the house for over 120 years.
The Dartmoor room was also referred to as the Dancing Room when in the 17c you could only enter the room by paying a small cover charge to dance with the awaiting ladies. If a lady took your fancy you could then entertain her, in her bedroom!
"Drake" has been used to name one of our bedrooms due to us being situated on Drake Road. Sir Francis Drake, born in Tavistock around 1540 was the english Admiral who circumnavigated the globe (1577-1580) and was the most renowned seaman of the Elizabethan era.
Breakfast is served in the 'family style' kitchen (originally the main bar of the 17c coaching inn) on the ground floor of the house, overlooking the courtyard garden from 8am to 9.30am.
One large kitchen table seats eight people at any one time; if the table is full, tea or coffee can be served in the Drawing Room while you wait for fellow guests to finish.
During the Spring and Summer months breakfast is planned to also be served in the courtyard garden.
Simply pre order your cooked breakfast the night before using a little form in your room, to be accompanied
by a selection of cereals & granola, fresh & dried fruit, natural yoghurt, fruit juice, toast, tea and fresh ground coffee, all sourced from local independant shops in and around Tavistock.
All dietary requirements can be catered for with prior notice.
The History of the Courtyard
The Courtyard is hugely important to Tavistock. It is the only remaining section of the original road from Tavistock to Exeter. The granite to make the walls is recycled granite from the cottages that were demolished to make way for Drake Road in the 18c. Local historians can pin point where in Dartmoor and from what Tors the granite is from. The arch was revealed this year after being covered by ivy for over a 100 years. It is a load bearing and strenthening arch to support Drake Road. The wall and arch were covered by thick, overgrown ivy, hawthorn and holly. It took weeks of intense gardening a few months ago to reveal the beautiful granite wall and coping stones.
The cobbles are from the beaches of Devon and Cornwall, and form the early 17c road. They were hidden under a carpet of moss, we spent all winter removing the moss to reveal these beautiful cobbles.
The paving stones to make the original 17c pathway can also be identified by the granite used. The small red door to the left is the entrance to the only remaining section of Post Office Lane that lies behind it. A covered 'secret' lane, where in the 17 and 18c young boys used to run the sacks of post that were delivered from Exeter to the rear entrance of the Post Office that was then located where the now Bedford Square is.
The reason why the house is located below street level is due to Mr Pearce, the owner of the house in the late 17c not selling to the Duke when the Duke remodled the town centre to make way for Bedford Square, the town hall and the new railway that is located at the top of the hill, over the road.
The small windows located above the pathway look into the stables and scullery. At the end of Post Office Lane is the original side entrance to the house where you will find the horse steps that lead into the rear courtyard.