History of Whitelady House
Originally the farm house to the Manor
The house dates back to the 1600’s. It was the farm house to the Manor hence its original name of Manor Farm. This was changed when the house was renovated to reflect it’s position next to the Whitelady Waterfall in Lydford Gorge.
At the beginning of the 19th Century the Gorge became a replacement for the Grand Tour of Continental Europe, very much valued and appreciated for its grandeur and beauty. The house was enlarged to double its size as a direct result of it’s popularity as a tourist attraction.
Later during the Victorian era the train arrived and sightseers from Plymouth and Exeter came to view the falls and disembarked in the garden of Manor Farm and it was the income from the visitors that lead to the expansion of the house. Today the railway has long gone but the area makes a great croquet lawn!
Our neighbours are now the National Trust who own the gorge (the deepest in the South West) stretching a distance of about 2.5 km from the spectacular “Devil’s Cauldron” whirlpool at the top to the magical site of the 30-metres-tall “White Lady Waterfall” at our end. A visit to the gorge is a great way to spend an afternoon, but do bring sturdy walking shoes!
Visit Lydford Gorge
The site of an Anglo-Saxon town set up in about 890 AD by Alfred the Great. It was one of his strategic centres to defend his country from the Vikings and the Cornish on the other side of the nearby River Tamar. Lydford became an important coin-minting town, producing the famous Lydford Silver Pennies.
Of particular interest in the village are the Anglo-Saxon defence wall, the very fine St. Petrock’s Church, the Norman Castle, the prison and the massive and spectacular granite viaduct of the former Exeter-Plymouth railway line, now the start of the cycle track taking you across the Dartmoor via Meldon reservoir to Okehampton. (Cycle hire can be arranged.)
The village also has two pubs, The Castle and the Dartmoor Inn, both provide excellent food and can be recommended for lunch.
Lydford Gorge is the deepest gorge in the South West, with spectacular 30m Whitelady waterfall close to Whitelady House. Descend down the steps to Devil’s Cauldron and out over the water; the dark dripping rocks all around you with the water bubbling beneath your feet.