Castle Bungalow

Peppercombe, North Devon

Overview

Castle Bungalow enjoys magnificent views of the coastline from the verandah and reflects a more recent strand in Peppercombe's history.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • Outside Dining FurnitureOutside Dining Furniture
  • RemoteRemote

Beds 1 Double, 1 Bunk

Sleeps
2 +2
4 nights from
£335 equivalent to £20.94 per person, per night

A snug, seaside residence

Once you arrive down the coombe, this 1920s Boulton and Paul bungalow is all on one level. The veranda wraps around the bungalow to create a viewing platform on all sides. Inside the rooms are snug as only wood-lined rooms can be. Beside it are the remains of Peppercombe Castle, a castellated seaside residence as well as a footpath down to stony, deserted beach. Emerging at Castle Bungalow from the wooded valley you encounter this slightly colonial looking home and an extraordinary coastal view.

Peppercombe

Peppercombe is a steep and wooded valley, through which a stream runs down to a meadow before tumbling down to a beach in a fine waterfall. Luckily, there is a path for you to reach the shore. The cliffs here are particularly dramatic, formed from an outcrop of red Triassic stone, with the whole magnificent North Devon coast line curving away in both directions and Lundy on the horizon. When this wild and lovely valley was acquired by the National Trust in 1988, we took on two of its buildings.

See all our Landmarks at Peppercombe

‘Our little girl (three and a half) loved this place and thought she was staying in the wooden house that belonged to one of the three pigs.’

From the logbook

Floor Plan

Map & local info

Castle Bungalow sits at the end of a steep wooded track that descends through Peppercombe valley. The magnificent views from here are of the North Devon coast, including, weather permitting, our own Lundy on the horizon. A footpath outside your front door leads down to a secluded, rocky  beach  surrounded by impressive red cliffs. Castle Bungalow is a fantastic base from which to explore North Devon  and  Lundy, too.

Burton Art GalleryDartington Crystal and the Maritime Museum provide great entertainment and interesting information about the local area. 

Hartland Abbey and Tapley Park and Gardens are two beautiful north Devon country estates, both well worth a visit. You can gain a discount on entry price at Hartland Abbey with a National Art Pass, which enables its members to enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions.

The pass is presented by one of Landmark's partners, the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, which has been supporting museums and galleries for over 110 years by helping them to buy and display great works of art for everyone to enjoy. Income raised through the National Art Pass goes straight back into their charitable programme. Find more about it at artfund.org/national-art-pass.

For more information on things to do during your stay at Castle Bungalow, please see our Pinterest page.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

See all our Landmarks at Peppercombe

Castle Bungalow
Peppercombe, North Devon
Clear directions
FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    Via a long, steep track from the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Barnstaple – 14.5 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There are two parking spaces adjacent to the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There are electric night storage heaters and a solid fuel stove.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Unfortunately, there is no arrangement for the purchase and delivery of logs, however details of local sources will be provided with your order confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is an electric cooker.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom with a bath.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    There are no internal stairs.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There is a wild meadow garden (not enclosed) and direct access to the beach.

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact webmaster@landmarktrust.org.uk.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there toilet rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

A place valued for its beauty

Castle Bungalow reflects a more recent strand in Peppercombe's history. Since the early 19th century, there has been a growing appreciation of it as a place to be valued for the beauty of its scenery. To begin with, this went hand in hand with more obviously productive uses, but as these died out for one reason or another, it became the predominant one, and remains so today.

The first example of this new attitude occurred around 1810-20, when William Tardrew, whose business operations were carried on in the lime kilns on the beach below, chose also to make Peppercombe his home. He took advantage of the open ground at the valley mouth to build what seems to have been a substantial house, enjoying a fine view of Bideford Bay. It does not appear on the first one-inch Ordnance Survey Map of 1809, but is clearly shown, as Dwelling House and Court, with gardens and lawns, on the Tithe Map of 1840.

A surviving photograph shows this to have been a sprawling stuccoed "castle", complete with seafront verandah and flagpole. Its ruin confirms the impression of a Picturesque residence vaguely in the style of Nash, perhaps more at home on the South coast of Devon than the North.

The Tardrew family's lease was renewed for the last time in the 1860s. There is no record in the estate papers of the Pine-Coffins taking over the Castle and re-letting it, but according to the Smales there were other tenants. For the last part of its short history, it was the home of Major John Edward Pine-Coffin. He is given as the occupant in Land Tax returns in 1909, but the present Mrs Pine-Coffin, who is researching the family's earlier history, is not certain for how many years he had been living there before that.

As a serving army officer, Major Pine-Coffin would not have been much at home, for which reason the estate had been left outright to his mother, Matilda Pine-Coffin, on his father's early death in 1890. He was married in 1894 and presumably at some point thereafter retired from the army and came home. However, Portledge itself was let, and his mother lived at the dower house of Kenwith Castle, so Peppercombe would have seemed a handy solution to the problem of where he was to set up his own household.

A few local people remember the house in its heyday; Sunday school teas were held in the large kitchen, and children played games on the lawn afterwards. The Smales's grandfather was coachman at Peppercombe, and they remember from their own childhood the remains of formal gardens, and the tennis courts with their changing hut halfway down the cliff path. These, together with the trout pond and rabbit warren, and remains of the house itself, have now disappeared beneath the undergrowth, following the Castle's abandonment.

Unfortunately the site was not a safe one, as was revealed when part of the cliff subsided in 1909. The Pine-Coffins had already threatened the local council with court action in 1895 for undermining the cliffs at Portledge when removing gravel from the beach below. Peppercombe, too, was a popular source of road gravel, and this may have contributed to the landslip which rendered Peppercombe Castle uninhabitable. The house developed dangerous cracks, and soon afterwards the Pine-Coffins decided to cut their losses by salvaging what they could of the wood and ironwork. Traces of the Castle can thus be found in many houses on the estate: windows were reused in the workshop at Fairy Cross, and part of the porch can be seen on one of the cottages in Peppercombe.

In 1926, however, the Pine-Coffins decided that the view from Peppercombe, and the plentiful prawns to be caught on the beach, should not be wasted. John Walters, who lives at Horns Cross, was engaged with his father and two other estate workmen to move the existing boat-house from the lake at Portledge to the Peppercombe drive, for £150. As Mr Walters remembers, this was no easy task. The coast road was in bad repair, and a cart track had to be specially levelled between Portledge and Peppercombe. Then, with the help of a horse, the boat-house was dragged in sections along the coast to the new site.

Luckily reassembly was easy. The boat-house had come in the first place, around the turn of the century, from Boulton and Paul of Norwich. Boulton and Paul, founded in 1867, was one of the first manufacturers of prefabricated "Residences, Bungalows and Cottages", which they sent not only to the seaside coasts of Britain, but to destinations all over the British Empire ("carriage paid to the nearest Goods Station") and even to South America. The company still has a copy of its 1920 catalogue, containing a choice of twenty-two designs. Several varieties of bungalow are illustrated, ranging from the Modern Residential, through the Week-End and the Seaside to the plain and ordinary (with verandah).

Castle Bungalow itself does not appear, but the Pine-Coffins had chosen something similar in scale and materials to B48, one of the more modest designs on offer. For £570 the customer got a weather-boarded and timber-lined two bedroom bungalow, with brick foundations and chimneys included. The Peppercombe version has a few slightly grander touches, which make it closer in appearance to the more luxurious B34, Seaside Bungalow, with "wood walls and Italian pattern iron roof".

The Bungalow was used by the family for picnics, and Colonel Pine-Coffin's father kept his prawn nets there. More recently, it was altered slightly and let as a holiday cottage. It passed to Landmark after the National Trust's acquisition of Peppercombe in 1988.

Restoration

Renewing the painted iron roof

The work at Castle Bungalow, as with Bridge Cottage, consisted mainly of repair and redecoration of a straightforward kind. The most substantial job was the renewal of the painted iron roof, which was too full of holes to save. We had hoped to find the same variety of ridged iron to replace it, but this does not exist anymore, so ordinary galvanised corrugated iron had to be used instead, with bituminous paint to darken its colour.

Some years ago, a bathroom and loo had been added in a lean-to at the back of the bungalow. We wanted to fit all the accommodation inside the original walls again, even though this would mean the loss of one bedroom to provide a new kitchen. When the lean-to had gone, the frame and cladding had to be replaced where it had been cut out, and the paving made up. Frame and cladding also needed renewing on the dormer over the sitting room doors, as did the leaded lights of the windows on this side which, because they face west, had suffered more than the others from the weather.

Inside, a new doorway had been made between the larger bedroom and the sitting room. This was blocked up again, and a new stove installed on an existing stone let into the floor, presumably for the original stove. The doors themselves were stripped down and then re-grained, as they had been in the beginning, in the universal Victorian and Edwardian fashion. The cracks in the floorboards were caulked like the deck of a ship, to keep out some drafts.

To separate the bungalow from the surrounding field, and at the same time dispense with the wire fence that had encircled it, a new verandah was built - and now looks as though it was always there. The line of the drive was altered slightly, to bring it to the back of the building rather than the front, and keep cars out of sight.

Finally, the whole bungalow was repainted in a more sober variant of the former colours, which seemed better suited to its surroundings. Besides, the architect and the Landmark's Architectural Adviser, both serious students of railway design, had spotted that the existing white and rust belonged properly to the carriages of the old Midland Railway. In cream and dark brown, Castle Bungalow is now safely restored to membership of the Great Western.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.