History of the Hotel

Originally built in the 1800s as a coaching inn for Eggesford House, an estate owned by the Earl of Portsmouth and comprising 7000 acres of forest and farmland around Eggesford. 

The 4th Earl of Portsmouth was instrumental in building the road between Barnstaple and Exeter and later promoting the railway line between the two. The Earl’s insistence that the train would always stop at Eggesford and its strategic position midway between the two contributed to the inn’s importance which was further increased by the development of a cattle market on the property, serving the local area.

The estate was sold in 1913, with much of the woodland being acquired by the Forestry Commission, which it is still responsible for today, and accounts for many of the nearby forest walks.  A commemorative plaque marking the planting of the first trees in 1919 can still be seen in nearby Flashdown Wood.

The inn became privately owned and found great success due to its accessibility by road and rail and its unique position on the River Taw which saw impressive salmon returns and resident brown trout. 

Successive owners have continued to develop the property over the years. A major extension was added in the 1980s, sensitive to the existing style of the building, and many of the outbuildings converted to private cottages, which now form part of our unique, friendly community.

Our luxury treehouse was built in 2014 in the property’s oldest oak tree, believed to be more than 350 years old. Featured on the BBC’s CountryFile, Which? Magazine, the Telegraph and many other publications, it has become a hugely popular feature of the hotel.

In the years ahead, the goal is to invest heavily in the hotel and grounds, bringing them to their full potential, without losing their inherent charm or the relaxed, welcoming atmosphere that we and our guests have come to love.

Thank you

Thank you for applying to join Friends of the Fox & Hounds. A member of the team will review your application and once complete, will issue you with a membership number that you can use to take advantage of special member-only offers.  In the meantime, detailed information about the program, including Terms & Conditions can be found here.