Chambercombe Manor is extremely interesting because of its history, location, age and legends.
Set in a secluded valley, nestling snugly near the Heritage Coast of Ilfracombe, North Devon, the Manor House is thought to date from the 11th century and was mentioned in the Domesday Book.
It still retains much of its original architecture and is in a wonderful state of preservation. The earliest record we have of it was in the possession of Sir Henry Champernon, who was Lord of the Manor of Ilfracombe in 1162, but there is mention of one owner Robert Fitzroy soon after the Norman Conquest.
The Manor remained in the possession of the Champernon family until the 15th century when this branch of the family became extinct, passing through the families of Polglass, Herles and Bonville to the Duke of Suffolk. When the Duke of Suffolk (Lady Jane Greys father) was executed for treason it then fell into the possession of the Crown.
It is not certain when the house fell from its high estate and became a farmhouse, but it was evidently used by farmers for a long time. Nevertheless, it still retains much of its former grandeur, both in the fabric of the building and its decorations, particularly the plaster frieze and barrel ceiling in the Tudor bedroom.
30 March to 26 October.
Guided Tours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, start 11am, last tour 3 pm; Sundays, start noon, last tour 3pm.
Freeflow: Mondays and Fridays; 11am to 4pm (last admission 3pm). Closed Saturdays.
Please note, only Monday and Friday opening is free for Historic Houses members.
Set on the East of Ilfracombe, from A361 going towards Combe Martin turn right at the Thatch Public House go up Chambercombe Road leading to Chambercombe Lane and follow the brown signs to Chambercombe Manor.
Car park on site
Historic Houses members visit for free on Mondays and Fridays. We do not offer free access on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Non Guided Tours Mondays and Fridays: Adult: £5.50, Child: £2.50
Guided Tours Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays Adult: £9, Child: £6, Family: £27
- Accessible parking
- Guide dogs welcome
- Accessible toilets
- Access statement available
Henry Duke of Suffolk once owned the house as a hunting lodge and his daughter Lady Jane Grey, known as the 9 day Queen is believed to have stayed in the Tudor bedroom.
In the mid 1600s Alexander Oatway, owner of Chambercombe Manor, may have been a respectable and influential individual, but times were hard. He married aged 21, before he fell in with is roughneck companions of later years. He joined their revelries partly due to his adventurous nature, but also partly because of the profit that could be made from their secret activities.
At night Alexander and his cohorts would secretly go down to the nearest cove and with their lanterns lure unsuspecting ships onto the rocks. The wreckers would then loot and steal the cargo that the ship was carrying.
In 1738 Jan Vye was making repairs to Chambercombe Manor when he noticed the outline of a window which had been partly hidden under the thatched roof. Baffled he considered each room internally and the windows that looked out, and realised that he could no place this window. He knew there were only 4 rooms, but here there were 5 windows! Knocking on wall upstairs he noticed that an echo reverberated from beyond. Grabbing some tools he hacked at the internal cob wall, his blows yielding him a hole large enough for him to squeeze through.
Assisted by his wife, they entered the space by candlelight and discovered a small bed in the corner of the room draped in tapestries and under the aged material hung a skeletal hand of a young woman.
Would you like to stay at Chambercombe Manor in one of our five lovely cottages in an idyllic and tranquil setting? All our cottages are comfortably furnished and make ideal accommodation to suit everyone. Free off road car parking is available in one of our two car parks.
Set in a secluded valley position surrounded by 16 acres of woodlands. Our guests can enjoy our beautiful 3 acre gardens with large lawn, ponds flower beds and wooded walkways.
- Fuchsia sleeps 3 to 5
- Hayloft sleeps 4 to 6
- Laurel Dene sleeps 2 to 3
- Rose sleeps 3 to 5
- Courtyard sleeps 3 to 5
We offer discounted tours to schools.