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Colehayes Park History
The oldest part of the present house dates back to 1540, the same year Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves! In 1825 the whole estate extended to 470 acres. The social effects of two world wars took their toll with the acreage shrinking and house and grounds becoming neglected. Colehayes became a gentlemans club in 1960 and had a chequered history during this transition.
  1540 Thomas Pinson
1596 Marjery Tapley
1674 Hugh Puddycom
1681 Richard Puddicombe & Millescent Manno
1728 Richard Puddicombe
1780 Richard & Stephen Puddicombe
1788 Charles Fanshaw
1812 The Rev. Charles Fanshaw (son)
1825 William Adair
1880 Theophilus Levett
1913 W.H.A. Hoare
1927 Misses B & A Mackinnon
1937 R.R. Jordan
1939 W. Pack & A. Hutchinson
1945 Dallas Kathleen Macneill
1945 W.H.E Stone
1952 R.F Lucas
1958 Abdul Fattah Modh El Maghrabl
1965 F.E & D.F.E Showell
1968 J. Hupalowski
1970 H.E & M.E Weston
1977 C.H.D & I.J Ryan & C.T & M.I Salter
1981 A.C & B. Barrett & S.J & J.D Fehler
1984 W.R.C& R.J Longfield
1990 Daphne & Peter Driver
1999 to Present Bill & Rebecca Brooks

Colehayes Park , a Grade II listed building, has been variously called Colhouse, Colehouse, Coal House, Cole House and Colehayes. In the old English ‘ Col’ meant charcoal. Colhouse was probably the house where charcoal was produced. By 1870 the name had been changed to colhays. ‘Hay’ derives from the old English ‘Gehaeg’ meaning enclosure or fenced in wood so despite the change in name its meaning retained the association with woodlands.

The earliest mention of Colehayes is in a burial register for 1540 where Thomas Pinson is recorded as being ‘of Colhouse’. The house reached it's zenith in the mid 1850’s when it was the centre of the Victorian Country Gentleman’s estate which extended to 470 acres and included the surrounding areas of Whisselwell, Challabrook and Chapple. The Haytor Granite Railway and the Bovey Pottery Leat once ran through the estate which in 1913 stretched as far as Moretonhampstead and South Devon Railway line.

It was William Adair who after purchasing the house in 1825, remodelled, reconstructed and extended it, whilst also building the stables, laundry, carriage house and the reservoirs in alder wood and the kitchen garden. He also laid out the lawns and gardens at the rear of the house and constructed the series of ponds and waterfalls in the style of Victorian picturesque. The Georgian extension was reputedly built by Napoleonic prisoners of war from Dartmoor prison with Dartmoor Granite, the same granite that was used to build London Bridge.

The house is now a field study centre having some 20 acres of land. In the past it has been a small farm house, a gentleman’s country seat, a residential hotel and a country club. The cellars were refitted as a nuclear bunker shelter some time after WWII.

Colehayes was last lived in as a private house in the late 1940’s.

Colehayes now thrives as a field studies centre and caters for weddings, holidays and educational trips.

Contact Colehayes for more information.