A BRIEF HISTORY OF ELFORDLEIGH
Elfordleigh Hotel is set in about twenty hectares of parkland and was built around 1710; however the exact date is unknown.
First described in 1812 as a ‘small house’, we find that 25 years later, having spent a sum approaching £10,000 on improvements, the house had been adapted to accommodate “all the legitimate wants of a family of pretensions”. Elfordleigh had six bedrooms, just for the servants and nine best bed chambers with two dressing rooms. The man responsible for the improvements of the house was William Langmead, who came from a family of some standing. As successful brewers they had been responsible in 1797 for bringing the first industrial steam engine to Plymouth. The Langmead’s also enjoyed the unusual distinction of providing three Mayors of Plymouth inside ten calendar years. William enjoyed his term of office in 1808-09, having been preceded by John Clark Langmead in 1802–03 and Philip Langmead also served the city as MP from 1802–06.William Langmead sold the Elfordleigh Estate in 1837 which incorporated 228 acres with park grounds described as “teeming with wild fertility”.
The 18 bedroomed hotel was once again under new ownership in 1976. The hotel owner Ken Tunnicliff, a golfer himself, modernised and decorated the men’s changing room, installing showers and toilets and also built a heated swimming pool and tennis court at the rear of the hotel. A squash complex, sauna and solarium, plus snooker room and pool table were later added. Their future plans included an indoor swimming pool and gymnasium.
In 1930 this delightful residence was sold once more and this time converted into the Elfordleigh Country House Hotel. By 1932 a 9 hole golf course, designed by the celebrated golf architect J.H.Taylor, had been added to the grounds.
In 1940 during the Second World War the hotel was occupied by 80 children from the St. Nazareth Home in Plymouth and also a group of Royal Marines was billeted here. During this period the golf club ceased to function. Major Ball arranged for the course to be grazed during the war period and in doing so forestalled the war agricultural committee who had intended to have the land ploughed for crops.
The hotel was purchased in 1947 by Mr. Bendall who changed the name from Elfordleigh Hotel to Devon Greswold Hotel. By 1952 the hotel and course was acquired by Mr Doug Sherwill, a previous member and the hotel were renamed the Elfordleigh Hotel and Golf Club once again.
The current owner took over in 2003, and the hotel now has 36 bedrooms, an 18 hole parkland golf course and boasts extensive leisure facilities.
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