History

History of Old Forde House

1545

John Gaverock bought the manor of Wolborough from Henry VIII. When Gaverock became lord of the manor he set about building himself a new home at Forde. The older building at the rear of Forde House is believed to be the house erected by John Gaverock when he first acquired the house.

1610

John Gaverock's three daughters inherited Forde House and, towards the close of the sixteenth century, sold it to Richard Reynell of the Middle Temple and his wife Lucy.

The present house bears the date 1610 and is built in the shape of the letter E, commonly thought to be in honour of Queen Elizabeth 1, who had just died.

1622

Richard Reynell was knighted by King James I.

1625

King Charles I stayed overnight at Forde House on his way to Plymouth.

1634

Sir Richard died at the age of 76 and is buried in the magnificent monument in the chancel at Wolborough Church together with Lady Lucy, who died in 1652, aged 74.

1646

Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell stayed at Forde House on their way to Dartmouth.

1648

The young heiress of Forde, Margaret, only daughter of Jane Reynell and Sir William Waller, married Sir William Courtenay, Lord of nearby Powderham Castle, in 1648. The estate thereby passed to the Courtenays.

1688

William, Prince of Orange, sailed to Brixham to lead his army to London. Two days later he reached Newton Abbot and declared his intention to become King of England. The general public were addressed from St. Leonard's Tower in Wolborough Street, where the bells were afterwards rung in celebration.

William came to Forde House to visit Sir William Courtenay, who was not there. The staff had however been instructed to provide food and accommodation for the Prince. William stayed overnight in what is now known as ‘the Orange Room’.

1692

Margaret Lady Courtenay died.

1702

William Courtenay died. Forde House continued to be owned and used as a residence by the succeeding generations of the Courtenay family until 1762, when the house was let.

1860

Forde House was let to Mr J. W. Watts, High Sherriff of Devon.

1938

Forde House was sold to the Sellick family, when it became the base for an antique business.

1978

Teignbridge District Council bought Forde House.

When this content has been updated

Last updated 14 August 2018