Please note: This house does not offer free entry to Historic House members.
For alternative options please see other opening options.

Other opening

Overview

Kelly House in its many guises has been home to the Kelly family for over 900 years and reflects the lives of a Devon Squirearchy.

The present house was developed around a medieval hall which was extended through the 16th and 17th-centuries. In 1742 Arthur Kelly was prosperous and confident enough to add the present elegant Georgian house with its fine view towards Bodmin Moor, linked to the earlier part. In 1877 an airy games room was added with estate offices below.


Opening
Opening

Open by appointment, events and by Private Tours only.

Find Us
Find us

We are situated in the parish of Kelly, some 4 miles south of the A30 dual carriageway close to Devon's western border with Cornwall, near Lifton. Our Website has detailed directions from Exeter and Cornwall via the A30

No access by public transport.

  • Offers bike storage
Parking

Car park on site

  • Free

Taxi

Dan's Cabs 07792 925374

Admission
Admission

Tours including tea + cake: £15. Other catering negotiated.

Events generally £3 -£4 per adult, children free, entry often split with a charity.

Accessibility
Accessibility
  • Accessible toilets
  • Accessible parking
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
Group Visits
Group Visits

A tour generally takes about an hour and consists of the exterior and ground floor of the house, and contains detail of the history of the buildings and the family. Should your members have an interest in any particular aspect please let us know and we will see what information we have available.

We can manage a maximum of 25 people on a tour. Should your numbers exceed this we would need to split the group in two. 

We have limited facilities for disabled people. We have ramps available for access to the ground floor of the house, and the tea room, which also has a large threshold on its approach. We have no auditory or visual aids at present. Particular dietary needs could be met with prior notice.

Charges

£12 per person, with a minimum fee of £150. This would include a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits. Other refreshment could be provided if required at an additional cost. 

Please check the website for further information, admission times and details for our special events

Visit website

Forthcoming Tours

Sorry, there are no upcoming tours at the moment. Please check back soon.

Tour Overview

Visitors will see the oldest part of the Tudor House, ground floor of the Georgian house, the Victorian games room, and one of the renovated bed and breakfast rooms, and enjoy tea and cake with the family. The church and grounds are open for visitors to look around.

Tour duration

2.5 hours

Tour prices

£15.00 per person.

Refreshments

Tea/coffee, home-made cake.

Access notes

We have ramps which provide wheelchair access to the ground floor.

Special restrictions

No photography in the house.

Invitation to Stay

Every guest is welcomed to Kelly with the offer of a cup of tea in the drawing room accompanied by home made cakes – always available on the Piano for midnight snacks too.  After a night in one of our warm and comfortable beds, start the day with a full english breakfast, or your choice of other breakfast specials, cereals, fruits or even our guest favourite – kelly porridge!  

Rooms all have full tea and coffee making facilities, including fresh milk and ‘proper’ ground coffee, television, free WiFi and state of the art under-carpet heating with dedicated thermostat.  Power Showers either over baths or as a standalone unit can ease away the toils of the day and calm exercised muscles ready for a night of calm, away from the noise of traffic and city lights.

In addition, we are happy to provide all guests with a selection of glasses, wine coolers and most other essentials should they need them.

The Four Poster Room

The Four Poster Room – originally the true inner-sanctum of the 18th century house, has been restored to a high quality for our guests.

Kelly House Four Poster Room


Close the wooden shutters and lay back in our original victorian King Size four-poster bed, and relax in style!

This room is located at the heart of the first floor with views over the front lawns and the heights of Bodmin Moor.

It also has a large, modern bathroom which shares these fantastic views.

– Under Carpet Heating
– Personal Thermostat
– Tea & Coffee Facilities
– Fresh dairy milk always available
– Free WiFi
– Freeview TV with built in DVD player
– Ensuite Bathroom with Power Shower over large Bath
– Loo with a View!
– Shutters to all Windows
– Fluffy cotton towels

The Panelled Room

Until our recent renovation work, this enormous room was the family bathroom, and this history is carried through after our restoration with the inclusion of the original cast iron bath included in the corner for guests to use!

Kelly House The Panelled Room


The panels date back to the building of Kelly House, and the room has a hidden wardrobe within the chimney breast!

The room also has an en-suite shower room with full facilities, and is a warm and relaxing retreat for our guests.

– Under Carpet Heating
– Personal Thermostat
– Tea & Coffee Facilities
– Fresh dairy milk always available
– Free WiFi
– Freeview TV
– Ensuite Bathroom with Power Shower over large Bath
– Fluffy cotton towels

The Gold Room

This is the largest of our three guest rooms, with fantastic views and excellent light through the windows in the South and West walls, ensuring it remains bright and airy throughout the year.

Kelly House The Gold Room


It was originally a guest room for the most important of visitors, hence it is larger than the Master Bedroom, and the most popular room among our own visitors over the last few years!

– Under Carpet Heating
– Personal Thermostat
– Tea & Coffee Facilities
– Fresh dairy milk always available
– Free WiFi
– Freeview TV
– Shutters to all windows
– Ensuite Bathroom with Power Shower in cubicle for easy access
– Separate large, cast iron bath in Bedroom
– Fluffy cotton towels

 


Opening
Opening

Open by appointment, events and by Private Tours only.

Find Us
Find us

We are situated in the parish of Kelly, some 4 miles south of the A30 dual carriageway close to Devon's western border with Cornwall, near Lifton. Our Website has detailed directions from Exeter and Cornwall via the A30

No access by public transport.

  • Offers bike storage
Parking

Car park on site

  • Free

Taxi

Dan's Cabs 07792 925374

Admission
Admission

Tours including tea + cake: £15. Other catering negotiated.

Events generally £3 -£4 per adult, children free, entry often split with a charity.

Accessibility
Accessibility
  • Accessible toilets
  • Accessible parking
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
Group Visits
Group Visits

A tour generally takes about an hour and consists of the exterior and ground floor of the house, and contains detail of the history of the buildings and the family. Should your members have an interest in any particular aspect please let us know and we will see what information we have available.

We can manage a maximum of 25 people on a tour. Should your numbers exceed this we would need to split the group in two. 

We have limited facilities for disabled people. We have ramps available for access to the ground floor of the house, and the tea room, which also has a large threshold on its approach. We have no auditory or visual aids at present. Particular dietary needs could be met with prior notice.

Charges

£12 per person, with a minimum fee of £150. This would include a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits. Other refreshment could be provided if required at an additional cost. 

Other opening

Private Group Tours

A tour generally takes about an hour and consists of the exterior and ground floor of the house, and contains detail of the history of the buildings and the family. it would end in our Tea Room which is the oldest room in the house. Should your members have an interest in any particular aspect please let us know and we will see what information we have available.

We can manage a maximum of 25 people on a tour. Should your numbers exceed this we would need to split the group in two. If nearer the time this seems likely we could adjust the timing of your visit so that it would fit more comfortably into the day.

We have limited facilities for disabled people. the ground is uneven and there are a number of steps in places. We have ramps available for access to the ground floor of the house, and the tea room, which also has a large threshold on its approach. We have no auditory or visual aids at present. We have successfully accommodated visitors in wheelchairs last year, and would be happy to discuss particular points with anyone prior to your visit to see if we are able to provide for their needs. Particular dietary needs could also be met with prior notice.

CHARGES

£12 per person, with a minimum fee of £150. This would include a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits. Other refreshment could be provided if required at an additional cost. We would be happy to discuss this with you if it is an option.

We would need payment and confirmation of numbers a minimum of 1 week before the visit.

A form to book a group tour can be downloaded here.

If there are any matters that you wish to discuss please email us at –
Sophia@kelly-house.co.uk
Or telephone – Sophia on 01822 870363
– Warin on 01822 870393

Teas – End your group outing at Kelly

If you are a walking, Cycling or car touring group, why not finish your day out with Tea at Kelly House. Our Tudor Tea room provides a warm and unique space to enjoy a cream tea or homemade cake. With it’s Jacobean panelling and large open fire you can enjoy a relaxing end to the day with Tea served in vintage china.

We can provide pre booked teas for groups of 15 -36 in our Tudor tea room from £4 per person.


Kelly House's history and features

The name of Kelly is derived from the Celtic word, meaning a clearing in a wood. Around 1100CE, the name Martin de Kelly is connected with this site. By the reign of Henry II, some fifty years later, Nicholas de Kelly held a manor here, and was one of eleven Devonshire families responsible for raising fighting men for the king in return for their landholding. The family has lived here ever since, and the buildings you can now see reflect the way in which their lives have been part of this remote yet lovely area of Devon.

Sir William de Kelly began to build the church next to the house in 1252. Many family members are buried there, and the family has remained closely connected with it ever since. When the Reverend Maitland Kelly inherited the estate in 1900, He acted as “Squarson” ( squire and parson) for a time before appointing a new Rector.

By 1742, Arthur Kelly of Kelly was prosperous enough to replace part of the old pre-Tudor house by the elegant early Georgian building with its graceful staircase which you can see today.Through the nineteenth century, the family continued to live the lives of prosperous country squires, devoted to their estate and with a close relationship to the people who lived in the hamlet and farms on it. Even the existing lockup demonstrates the traditional gentry role of maintaining local law and order as Justices of the Peace.

However the twentieth century brought the problems faced by so many smaller country houses: much of the estate had to be sold to raise funds to settle death duties at varied times. and maintenance has become a constant drain on resources. The family is determined now, in the twenty first century, to find new and imaginative ways of facing this challenge and continuing to serve the local community.


Things to See

Fun Facts

The Diaries of Margaret Kelly

Margaret Kelly was born in 1879, in Ottery St Mary, Devon. She was the eldest daughter of Rev. Maitland Kelly and Agnes Leigh Clare Kelly, after her Stepmother’s untimely death in 1891, Margaret became matriarch of the Kelly Family, responsible for the running of the household. In 1899 her father inherited Kelly House from his brother Reginald and became squire of Kelly. Margaret came to the property with her father, which remains the family home of the Kelly family to this day

It is fair, indeed necessary, to recognise many aspects of her identity when considering the tone and opinions she uses and espouses in this memoir. First, she was a lady with Victorian schooling, living in Edwardian England. She was a subject of what remained the world’s largest and most successful empire, and was in a position socially to enjoy the benefits this would bring her.

Margaret knew her place, which was very close to the top of the pile. As a young lady, her days – as we shall see – were largely concerned with calling at other large houses to “inquire” and taking tea with other people of her class. Her father took rooms in St James, London, and rubbed shoulders with knights of the realm, Admirals and Generals of His Majesty’s military. She had a fleet of servants, and access to the most modern and expensive of things.

Read the full story here