A brief history of Langdon Court
Langdon Court Hotel, Restaurant and Vineyard is brimming with extraordinary nautical, military, royal and regal history. Such is the beauty and elegance of this country house hotel that it has played host to many famous historical figures including Henry VIII and his last wife Catherine Parr, Elizabeth I, Edward VII and also society beauty and actress Lillie Langtry.
The house 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 reputable Courtenay family of Devon.
…former home to Henry VIII’s widow Catherine Parr
This highly respected local family nurtured the house, residing within the estate for nearly 200 years. The last member of the Courtenay family to live in the house was the Marquis of Exeter who unfortunately was dramatically beheaded for treason by Henry VIII in 1539 (most probably for his opposition to Henry`s aversion to Catholicism and the creation of the Church of England). Later the house passed to Henry VIII`s widow Catherine Parr.
After Catherine Parr, in 1564, Queen Elizabeth I granted Langdon Court to a highly noble and courageous gentleman called Vincent Calmady for his services to the Navy. The Calmadys treasured and enhanced Langdon Court, implementing meticulous and incredibly tasteful building and landscape work, much of which can still be admired today. (When you visit the building, be sure to explore the splendid English Renaissance garden which exudes essences of this glorious past). Langdon Court remained with the Calmady family until 1876 when the last daughters in the family line died.
The next family to reside in Langdon Court was the Cory family when Richard Cory purchased the house in 1876. Richard was the son of William Cory , the founder of the highly respectable coal shipping and bunkering firm in London known as Wm Cory and Sons Ltd. During this time, extensive repairs and 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. The latter often visited with his friend, the society beauty and actress Lillie Langtry.
When Richard Cory died in 1904, Mrs. Kenyon-Slaney bought the house and ten acres of land surrounding it. Mrs. Kenyon-Slaney lived there until the beginning of the Second World War, after which the house was used in a protective nature as a children’s convalescent home by Plymouth Council.
Today, Langdon Court Hotel, Restaurant and Vineyard is lovingly owned and run by Emma and Geoffrey Ede. Through their respect and understanding of the house and its glorious history, and their embracing of the present, they are ensuring the history and future of Langdon Court will prevail for years to come.