Twelve new and beautifully appointed bedrooms at Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter – Part 1

From the moment that we first looked around Rockbeare Manor with a view to turning it from erstwhile family home, to an exceptional exclusive wedding and events venue, it was clear to see how well this Devon Manor could be transformed to include a collection of stylish guest bedrooms. The Georgian proportions, high ceilings, intricate cornicing, period features, and not forgetting the unbelievable views to the South West, were all features that have added to the overall feel of the twelve beautifully designed bedrooms that have now been created.

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Making each room feel special has been important to us from the start.  The existing features of the house have of course contributed to that.  Huge sash cord windows create such wonderful light throughout and original fireplaces can be found at every turn, showing the character of this 18th Century Devon Manor.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

The design and furnishing of the individual rooms however, has been down to Bristol based Alexandra Cork who has been behind the overall look of the interiors project.  She has worked assiduously to make sure that the quality of the finish and attention to detail has been to the highest standard.

Alexandra’s vision for Rockbeare Manor, which is only 10 minutes from Exeter, was to create elegant luxury; chic, stylish and with a finish that speaks for itself. This has certainly been achieved, and it is befitting of a building that has so much grace.  The furnishings, soft tones and lighting have all been chosen to reflect the charm of the building, but with a luxurious and contemporary edge.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon   Bathroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Next to our Bridal Drawing Room on the first floor, is Room One, a principle room in the house.  It is incredibly spacious, with classic Louis Phillipe style sleigh bed, and a striking feature wall. From the windows, you can see the steeples of Rockbeare and Broadclyst churches, as well as Devon’s largest single-trunk oak tree.  Whilst from the twin sinks in the bathroom there are views of the impressive fountain, South Lawns and private listed parkland.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

One of our two family suites was previously known as the ‘Blue John’ room due to the purple-striped stone used in the feature fireplace, a gem which was beloved by the Romans and sought after in the 18th Century. The views from this first floor room are among the best in the house – almost panoramic.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Every bedroom has a modern, wet room style shower with accompanying bath – some of which are freestanding in the bedroom itself, giving a lavish feel.

Bathroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  

The windows have been dressed in made to measure fabrics from the Grand Palais range using a soft colour palette with a botanical feel, really complimenting the Regency inspired scheme used on the feature walls.  They also frame the views perfectly – which reach up to Haldon Belvedere, Dartmoor and the Cadbury Hills.

  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

We really are over the moon with the overall result and know that these twelve bedrooms will prove a popular addition to every wedding and special event that we host here at Rockbeare Manor.  We welcome the first of our overnight guests today when they attend the wedding of Sarah and Fergus, and will of course be making them very welcome.
The rooms at Rockbeare Manor are reserved for the guests of those hosting a wedding or event at our special Devon venue. For more information please contact the events team on 01392 797 444.

With great thanks to Jess at Perspectives Photography for the beautiful images http://www.perspectivesphotography.co.uk/.

National Heritage Day at Rockbeare Manor

We had such fun last weekend. Not only did we welcome 100 guests to Rockbeare Manor for the wedding of Nick and Marie on Saturday 10th, we also opened our doors to the public for the first time since the completion of our renovations.  Sunday 11th September is National Heritage Day and as part of this UK-wide event we welcomed the opportunity to throw open the gates to members of the surrounding villages, Exeter, and the South West for family fun, tours of the house, nature trails and garden games.

Rockbeare Manor National Heritage Day

Up until last September Rockbeare Manor had been a family home and so this was the first time in it’s 250 year history that it was open to the general pubic and the interest was such that we had nearly 600 guests attend during the afternoon.  We were one of 5,000 locations taking part in the National Heritage Open Days scheme which is a celebration of our fantastic history, architecture and culture. It’s a chance for people to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore.

 Children enjoying National Heritage Day at Rockbeare Manor

Exeter and East Devon Growth Point, part of East Devon District Council, had a fabulous team that put together the nature trails which included making stick-men and clay faces on trees, mini-beast hunting and lots more.

Children making clay faces on trees at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Mini-beast hunting by the lake at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Every guest was greeted by a yummy selection of our Chef’s homemade carrot cake, lemon drizzle cake and scones with jam and Devonshire clotted cream, as well as our local Four Elms Farm Apple Juice (who are also based in Devon), some Elderflower, and Prosecco too!

 We were absolutely thrilled that so many people came to join us for such a vibrant day, and it was brilliant to meet them all and to see them enjoying the house and gardens.  Rockbeare Manor has been through a real transformation in the last year of which we are very proud, and so this seemed like the ideal opportunity for people to come and have a look, and spend the afternoon in such a fun and relaxed way.

 Family fun on National Heritage Day at Rockbeare Manor

The History of Rockbeare Manor – Devon’s most exciting wedding venue

Rockbeare Manor

Rockbeare Manor is the true essence of a family home. This wonderful property, which was built in 1760 and later sold to the Nation family in 1855 has remained with that family ever since, passing from generation to generation – until its new lease of life this year when it reopened as an exclusive wedding and events venue following a meticulous refurbishment.

The property’s long and rich history can be traced back to the 14th century when it was under the ownership of Matilda, Countess of Gloucester. Although at that time it was less of a manor house and resembled more of an agricultural property. Since then it’s passed through many different families who all made alterations to the grounds, including the introduction of a manor house in the middle of the 18th century.

The most significant alterations made to Rockbeare Manor came from Thomas Porter who bought the house in 1815. He built the upper story of the manor and also built the walled garden. Little remains of the historical features of the house before its update in the early 19th century, however it has retained its Regency period features which create a timeless elegance to its façade and inner reception rooms.

It is this elegance that makes Rockbeare Manor one of the most exciting, exclusive wedding venues in Devon.

The property has now been acquired from the family and undergone a sensitive refurbishment, restoring it to its former glory.  The new  ‘custodians’ PM Hospitality, have fulfilled their vision of creating a beautiful space where weddings and celebrations could take place within a spectacular setting reminiscent of a Jane Austen novel. The setting of the manor could not be more perfect; surrounded by the beautiful Devon countryside with acres of parkland the romantic aspects of the house are plain to see. It truly is the perfect place to have your wedding ceremony or a private party.

After sensitively restoring the house, accentuating its Regency features, the manor is now officially open and taking bookings for weddings and celebrations.

Alternative Ideas For Your Hen or Stag Do

When it comes to getting married, the hen and stag do is something that the vast majority of brides and grooms look forward to. The trends for these events have changed enormously over recent years, with people looking for more alternative things to do rather than simply going to the local. With this in mind, we’ve done some digging and found some really exciting, alternative ideas perfect for either the hen or stag do before the big “I do”.

As Rockbeare Manor is a wedding venue near Exeter in Devon, we’ve tried to keep our suggestions local, as here in the South West there is a multitude of different things that are available for you.  Somehow we’ve managed to whittle it down to a list of just 10 of the best:

1. West Country Games 

West Country Games is an activity specialist in the South West. It offers a variety of different and interesting events including a ‘cider run’, ‘pitch fork duel’ and ‘mangold dangling’. If these sound like your cup of tea then check out the website for more information.

2. Rail Ale Trails 

If you want a twist on the regular pub-crawl then The Rail Ale Trail which is run by Great Scenic Railways, is worth looking into. There are 7 trails to choose from in Devon and Cornwall. The trail involves getting the train to various stops, dependant on which trail you choose, and visiting various rural pubs where you can enjoy some traditional ales. There is also a chance to win a t-shirt by collecting 10 stamps from the different pubs.

3. Escape Surf School 

More of a beach-bum than a bar-run? Why not head on down to Newquay for your hen or stag do and do some surfing? The Escape Surf School offers surfing lessons for complete beginners to advanced learners. It’s a great excuse to top up your tan before the big day.

4. Ultimate Adventure Centre

The Ultimate Adventure Centre in Bideford has an Ultimate Assault Course with a mixture of land and water based obstacles as well as several other courses, which can catapult your hen or stag do into a day of epic proportions.

5. Skirmish Paintball 

What better way to spend your do than to play a game of paintball? Skirmish Paintball, located in Stoke Woods near Exeter, is a 120-acre paintball site and promises to be a day full of tactical fun and paint!

6. Pampering weekend

Pampering weekends are a great way to relax before the big day. There are lots of different places in the UK where you can go for a weekend pampering session and Spabreaks.com is a great place to look for a spa near to you. And yes, spa breaks are these days appealing to men more and more as they look for an alternative to the traditional stag do.

7. Devon Leisure

For motorised events, such as go-karting and quad biking, Devon Leisure has it all. It is the largest off-road activity centre in the South West and with over 12 miles of woodland quad trails is sure to provide hours of fun for your party!

8. Treasure Trails 

If nature is your thing, then the Treasure Trails could be the perfect day for you! Treasuretrails.co.uk has over 1,200 self-guided trails all over the UK which help you to discover new cities, towns and villages. They have walking, cycling and driving trails meaning that no matter what the weather you can have a great day.

9. Go Ape 

Go Ape is the UK’s number one forest adventure park, there are 29 parks across the country and the one in the South West can be found in Haldon near Exeter. The park is home to a whole world of fun and adventure, including zip-lines, segways and swings. This is sure to be a fantastic way to spend your hen or stag party.

10. Cocktail Making Classes 

Cocktail making classes are the perfect way to start a night out for your stag/hen do. My Cocktail Master Class is a great place to start looking for a class near to you. They hold events in Exeter at Oddfellows most days of the week. Check out the website for more information.