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Royal Castle Lodge (formerly The Lodge)

A Grade II Listed Building in Lynton, Devon

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Latitude: 51.2281 / 51°13'41"N

Longitude: -3.8326 / 3°49'57"W

OS Eastings: 272136

OS Northings: 149255

OS Grid: SS721492

Mapcode National: GBR L1.2WD9

Mapcode Global: VH4M9.JD7C

Entry Name: Royal Castle Lodge (formerly The Lodge)

Listing Date: 15 September 1972

Last Amended: 25 January 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1201140

English Heritage Legacy ID: 376489

Location: Lynton and Lynmouth, North Devon, Devon, EX35

County: Devon

District: North Devon

Civil Parish: Lynton and Lynmouth

Built-Up Area: Lynton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Lynton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Early-C19 former entrance lodge to Lynton Cottage (Hotel), built in a Cottage-Ornée style, for William and Mary Sandford. The C20 timber lean-to on the east elevation is not included.


Early-C19 former entrance lodge to Lynton Cottage (Hotel), built in a Cottage-Ornée style, for William and Mary Sandford. The C20 timber lean to* on the east elevation is not included in the listing.

PLAN: two-room plan.

MATERIALS: rubble-stone topped by combed-wheat reed thatched roof.

EXTERIOR: a two-storey cottage. The front elevation (south) has an off-centre C20 stable-door. There is a three-light early-C19 timber casement window with central metal light, a rough-hewn wood lintel and stone sill on each floor. The lights have pointed heads. The roof has a marked overhang on this elevation, covering a first-floor external balcony. The timber balcony is surrounded by a decorative wood balustrade which has been subject to some repairs. It is accessed via a straight flight of stairs and rests on two stone posts, one of which is attached to the house by a straight-butt joint. There is a ground-floor two-light late-C20 casement window on the roadside (west) elevation. The east elevation includes a C20 two-light ground floor window and above is a small rectangular first-floor window. The rear elevation faces the rock-outcrop bank and has a late-C20 two-light window on the first floor. The thatched roof has a decorative ridge, over-hanging eaves and is topped by a stone ridge stack at the north end.

INTERIOR: the building is currently (2015) undergoing renovations*. This has involved the removal of all of the first-floor floorboards and the timber staircase, leaving only a spinal timber ceiling beam over the former ground-floor living room and two timber beams over the passage between the living room and kitchen. Part of the wall plaster has been removed as well. The two-room plan is divided by a stone wall in the north half of the building. The ground-floor main room has a late-C20 replacement fireplace with timber lintel and there is a C19 cast-iron fireplace in the room above. The fireplaces in the kitchen and the room above have been blocked.

* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the aforementioned features including the lean to and all the late-C20 and C21 internal finishings, fixtures and fittings are not of special architectural or historic interest.


The lodge was originally built for Lynton Cottage (listed Grade II), a summer residence to William and Mary Sandford. The couple, who owned Nynehead Court (listed Grade II*) in Somerset, are thought to be amongst the first members of the landed gentry to build a summer residence in the resort town of Lynton. William had first been advised to visit the town on medical grounds in circa 1810. In 1815 he obtained the lease on a plot of land, with views overlooking the settlement of Lynmouth and the sea below, where he built Lynton Cottage. He acquired the freehold for the site and surrounding land in 1826. The lodge was built at the southern end of a long drive. Both Lynton Cottage and the lodge are depicted on the Tithe Map for Lynton and Lynmouth (1841), within wooded grounds owned by Mrs Mary Sandford. The balcony attached to the front of the lodge appears to be a C19 structure that has been subject to later repairs. The Sandford family sold the property to Sir Charles Smith in 1860. In 1870 it was sold again, to Thomas Baker. Baker was already the owner of the Royal Castle Hotel to the south. His son took on the responsibility of Lynton Cottage and ran it as a private hotel, renaming it Lynton Cottage Hotel.
The lodge was eventually sold into separate ownership. Following a fire in 1993 repairs were carried out. There is no record of the extent of the damage and repairs; however, a visual inspection indicates the whole of the roof structure and all of the internal timbers were replaced in a sympathetic manner. Some of the timber window lintels have survived, as well as the timber casement windows on the front elevation. The rest of the windows were replaced in the late C20. A small timber lean-to was added to the east in the 1990s (not included in the listing).

Reasons for Listing

Royal Castle Lodge, built in the early-C19 as a lodge for Lynton Cottage, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: it is a well-considered design and retains its character as a picturesque building;
* Historic interest: the former villa lodge formed part of the development of the coastal town of Lynton as it grew in importance as a C19 holiday resort for the English gentry;
* Group value: it has strong group value with Lynton Cottage Hotel (Grade II) and other early C19 picturesque buildings within Lynton.

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