History of the house and the area

Rill House as it is now called was built as the old parish Workhouse and is dated 1822, it is said to have been built from the rent of the curate's house, Old Walls where the curate lived from the 1760s. It probably closed after the Kingsbridge Poor Law Union built a new union workhouse in Kingsbridge in 1837. It was converted into a house in the early 20th century.

This photo was taken a few meters up from the house in the early 1900’s, before that time Brook Street was locally known as The Rag or Rag Street. The nickname is thought to commemorate a very violent fight between two ladies living there or that the name related to the Workhouse (Rill House) as the residents were made to pick rags for their keep.

This is the earliest picture of the house we have found from 1925, so not long after the building was converted into a house. We have this picture in the front porch of the house for guests to enjoy. At this time the house was known as Rock Garden.

This photo was also made into a postcard

In November 1943, Devon County Council was informed by the War Cabinet that the Slapton Sands area was to be totally evacuated, to permit part of the South Hams to be used for practice assault landings.

This was one of the most traumatic episodes in the area’s history, involving the clearance of 30,000 acres and three thousand men, women and children who were evacuated at the end of 1943, taking their belongings, livestock, pets, and in many cases, farm equipment with them. These local people, some of whom had never left their homes and villages, had just six weeks to pack up and move away. Many had friends and relatives nearby who accommodated them. Farmers doubled up their land and some moved away from the area, never to return. They made way for 15,000 U.S. troops, who over the following months engaged in battle exercise, often involving live ammunition. More details can be found here

“Exercise Tiger” was one of several assault rehearsals conducted at Slapton Sands and it turned out to be one of the great tragedies of World War II. Hundreds of American soldiers and sailors died needlessly due to confusion and incompetence. It was one of the military’s best kept secrets until it was revealed to the world almost 40 years later.

This memorial can be found in the car park almost opposite the turning up into the village from the beach road by Slapton Sands. More details can be found here and here

In the 1950's after the war the garden was mainly an allotment. you can see part of it here on the right of this photo, the building opposite was once a farmyard for Slouts Farm.
This photo was taken in the 1970's when the garden was mainly an allotment, with the smallest caravan ever in the drive!
This Postcard photo was taken during the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977, I chatted to a lady who lived there at the time who remembered her Mum hanging the tea towel out of the window. At the time the house was called Brookleigh.
The house when it went up for sale in the early 1980s
This photo was taken 1987/1988 looking down over our garden and looks like where the kitchen is now was once half garage or store.

We would love to welcome you to stay please let us know if you have any questions for our pricing click here and then choose 'Show More' at the bottom. To see our availability click here. We only take direct bookings so contact us to book your dog welcoming holiday.