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.

The name of Kelly is derived from a Celtic word, meaning a clearing in a wood. Close to the border between Devon and Cornwall and part of the interlacing of Celtic and Saxon settlements. It is recoded as being held by a Saxon before the conquest,and then passed to a Norman. The surname Kelly appearing about 1100.

Always an agricultural Estate the house and its surroundings ilustrate the ups and downs of a family devoted to Their estate and with a close relationshipto the people who lived in the hamlet and farms on it in this remote yet lovely part of Devon.

Today Kelly House offers bed and breakfast accommodation as well as being open for Invitation to View tours, group tours, and for special events.



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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

Car park on site

  • Free


Dan's Cabs 07792 925374


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

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

  • 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.


£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. 

Things to See

Upcoming events

12 May 2019

Kelly House, nr Lifton, Devon

Home to the Kelly family for over 900 years, this Grade I Georgian house offers ancestral intrigue and an introduction to the social and architectural history of country houses. The house dates from the 15th century with alterations from every century until 1877. Pevsner compliments its good contemporary features. Unusual brick granary. 

The Kelly Family have lived on this site for over 900 years. The property offers ancestral intrigue and an introduction to the social and architectural history of country houses and the landed gentry in Devon. First recorded as a Saxon settlement in the Domesday book, then held by a Norman, the Kelly family home has evolved over the centuries. 

The present house has its origins in the 15th century as a Hall House which was updated and enlarged through the 16th and 17th centuries. A substantial Georgian expansion changed the prospect and character of the building, and together with the 18th century stable block and granary determined the layout of the settlement and its relationship with the adjacent parish church. Detail changes and embellishments during the 19th century together with the addition of a games room in 1877 followed. The building is listed as Grade I Georgian House. Pevsner compliments its good contemporary features.

The continuity of the family and its changing fortunes over the centuries has influenced all that can be seen now. Go back in time from the Victorian entrance and games room, through the Georgian parlours, library and grand staircase, to the Tudor Hall which is still in use today as a Tea Room. Discover the changes made to houses over centuries of constant use, changing fashions and building techniques.



From a warm welcome to a friendly wave off the driveway, Kelly House is your ideal home for a night, a few days, or a week or more in the beautiful Devon countryside. Away from all the main roads, yet within easy reach of the A30 and the towns of Launceston and Tavistock, we are in a great spot to explore all local tourist attractions,

Walking routes both on our doorstep and further afield all over Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and Exmoor offer a range of challenging escapades, and the tough road trails offer some the the best cycle training in the world. ou can climb at the local climbing barn , Sail at roadford and of course surf on the north coast of Cornwall.

We have three large individual B&B rooms with ensuite bathrooms in the house. Each room is furnished with a King size double bed.

The Four Poster Room is the main bedroom in the house and is entered directly off the main staircase.The old Victorian four poster bed that resided in the attics for years has been rebuilt and reinstalled in this room . There is a fine view towards Bodmin Moor in the west from this room. It is served by a generous ensuite bathroom.

The Gold Room is a spacious well lit corner room which catches the evening sun and glows in its light. It shares the same view towards Bodmin Moor. It has a compact ensuite bathroom in part of what was the "closet". An additional single bed can be provided in this room if requested.

The Panelled Room is the most characterful room. As its name implies it is panelled with a mix of panelling taken from the old house in the 1742 rebuild. The cast iron bath from the room's previous use provides a popular and well used feature, and there is a hidden cupboard! A shower room opens off the room.

On the ground floor there is a spacious sitting room for guests, opening onto the terrace and the garden. Breakfast is served in the adjacent Dining Room.

Corporate Hire