Hospitality Today July-Aug 2016 - Page 20

20 | Hospitality Today | June/July 2016 HOTEL IN THE SPOTLIGHT Langdon Court Hotel The family-run Langdon Court Hotel in Devon is a remarkable, atmospheric place with an extraordinary history from the Norman Conquest to Edward VII’s mistress. Hidden down winding lanes in the stunning south Devon countryside near Wembury Point and beach, just round the headland from Plymouth, this elegant, quiet and secluded country house has played host to historical figures such as Henry VIII and last wife Catherine Parr (it became her home), Elizabeth I, as well as society beauty Lillie Langtry and her lover of the day, the Prince of Wales, who went on to become Edward VII. Langdon has a distinguished past dating back to the Domesday Book. First recordings demonstrate that the manor house was granted to a Norman baron called Jodhel for providing crucial support to King William after the Battle of Hastings. Jodhel in turn granted Langdon to a loyal knight named Walden through the Pipard family, until it was later discovered by the Courtenay family of Devon, then from 1876 the Cory family, coal shippers. During this time, extensive alterations were made to the house, and on many occasions Richard Cory played host to his friend the Prince of Wales, later to become Edward VII - who often visited with his ‘friend’, the society beauty and actress Lillie Langtry. On Richard Corey’s death in 1904 the estate was broken up and a Mrs. Kenyon-Slaney bought the house and ten acres of land. She lived here until the beginning of the Second World War. After the war Langdon Court was purchased by Plymouth Council and used as a children’s convalescent home.