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Leopoldina | Luxury Italianate Manor | Stoke Gabriel, South Devon

Leopoldina

Stoke Gabriel, Totnes, Devon, UK

A creation of John Nash – architect to the Prince Regent – Leopoldina is a building of historic significance set on the eastern bank of the River Dart, inspired by the farmhouses depicted in 17th century paintings of the Roman countryside. Once the stables to Sandridge Park, and an agricultural prisoner of war camp during World War II, this grand Italianate manor in Devon's Stoke Gabriel is a contemporary reimagining of a Picturesque classic.

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Introduction

One of England's finest examples of the residential Picturesque, Leopoldina is history preserved. Its silhouette pays homage to artworks produced by landscape painters like Poussin and the rural manses of Leopold, the Grand Duke of Tuscany; but while its dovecote tower, oeil-de-boeuf windows, and lawn ha-ha nod to grandeur, it was the meticulous touch of an architectural historian who brought Nash's design into the now, making a harmonious family home in Stoke Gabriel. A glass conservatory, pool, and eco-tech bring modern chi to the mood of 1805, in a luxury manor so sensitively shaped that it was commended in the Architect of the Year Awards.

Inside

Under its pyramidal roof there's limestone floors, maple cabinetry, green slate counters, and a hand-crafted limed oak staircase that brings a serpentine quality to organic joinery. On the milk-white walls hang monochromatic calligraphy and crafted-paper works by a neighbouring artist, while Sicilian screen-prints bring the colour palette of the Tyrrhenian to this luxury Devon eye-catcher. As well suited to meditative retreats as it is to great celebrations, one might think of Leopoldina as the shapeshifter of Stoke Gabriel. Think tactile spaces, modern touches, and timeless style sensibilities, plus a games annex, nookish rooftop, and yoga studio for good measure.

Outside

Step outside and into a subtle landscape shaped for aristocracy, where hares have wild races between the croquet lawn and monkey puzzle trees, and roe deer pop by to make lunch of the roses. While buzzards wheel above the tulip trees, guests can wander down to the private beach on the River Dart (where seals are known to slumber on the pontoon) or dive into the heated pool for a game of Sharks and Minnows. Here in nature's cradle, garden suppers linger long after the sun has set, with carafes of Pinot Noir from the award-winning vineyard next door. And close by are the waterfront cafés of genteel Stoke Gabriel, and the markets, eateries, and eco-creds of trendy Totnes.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 10 guests
    From £5,150 per week, £3,895 per short break
  • Alternative group optionUp to 6 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThere are six bedrooms and five bathrooms at this luxury manor, split between the east wing and the main house. In the east wing is a mezzanine suite (ideal for families) with two en suite bedrooms. In the main house are four bedrooms sharing two bathrooms. There is a downstairs WC, a shower room in the games room, and a pool room with shower and WC, accessed from outside.
    View bedrooms
  • FeaturesOutdoor heated pool (available May-September), private beach on the River Dart, yoga space with roof terrace, and games annex with table tennis and a football table
  • PetsSorry, no pets
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyBabies and children are welcome. One cot and one highchair are available, but there are no stairgates.
  • PracticalitiesThere is ample off-road parking for eight cars, and garage parking for two cars. The Bulthaup kitchen has a double oven, five-ring hob, dishwasher, two tall fridge-freezers, and a microwave. The utility room contains a washing machine and tumble dryer. Please note that the garden is not enclosed, the ha-ha wall and pool wall are drops without railings, and the River Dart is accessible, so please exercise due diligence if you are travelling with children. The roof terrace off the yoga room is not suitable for children, so please keep the doors locked unless in use by adults. The pool has an electric cover that is lockable. If booking the smaller group option, guests will have access to bedrooms one, four, five, and six.
  • Homestay includesA luxury welcome hamper including Popti Bakehouse crackers and Slap & Pickle Devon chutney, iPad, Wi-Fi internet (and 4G access), two Smart TVs, Control4 multi-zone home audio system, Dualit coffee maker with ESE coffee pods, gas barbecue, books and board games, luxury bed linens, towels and bathrobes, and unlimited logs and kindling.House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more
  • Private cateringSeeking a celebratory dinner or fully catered escape? Our recommended caterers will work with you to create personalised menus for your stay. Details are shared through our house book on confirming your booking.
  • RetreatsFrom foraging weekenders to crash courses in cold-water therapy, our bespoke retreats bridge the gap between luxury and back-to-nature philosophies. Create a hand-crafted stay that puts connectivity at the fore.
  • Eco-friendlyTwo electric chargers (a 12 kva charger outside, and a 22 kva charger inside the garage, type 2 fitting), air source heating, and septic tank
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsView floor plan

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One of the sweet single rooms, with curated artworks above the headboard
This is a home designed with gatherings in mind

Prices & Availability

Stoke Gabriel

A quintessential English village burrowed on a River Dart creek, Stoke Gabriel might take the biscuit for the prettiest town in Devon. Among its pastel rowing boats, you´ll find shacks serving up soft-shelled crab and an award-winning vineyard pouring Madeleine Angevine.

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Stoke Gabriel
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Getting there

  • On the Map This luxury home is near Totnes, within the sweet South Devon town of Stoke Gabriel, perfectly located for visiting the English Riviera, Dartmouth, Dartmoor, and villages along the River Dart.
  • By Car Leopoldina is around 10 minutes from Totnes, under one hour from of Exeter and Plymouth, and four hours from London.
  • By Train Totnes Train Station is 10 minutes away, and Paignton is 20 minutes away by car. There are regular trains from London Paddington to Paignton via Exeter with a journey time of four-and-a-half hours on Great Western Railways.
  • By Air Exeter Airport is 40 minutes away from Leopoldina by car. There is no helipad at the house, but guests may land on the adjacent grounds on prior request.

From the owner

“What we love most about Leopoldina is its sense of privacy – it can only be seen from the river. It is quiet and peaceful, and the views track the changing seasons, each bringing some dazzling new scene or species to discover.”

From the owner

Leopoldina was built in 1805 as the coach house and stables to the neighbouring Sandridge Park, at the centre of what was then quite a large estate on the banks of the River Dart. It has a fascinating history since medieval times.

The Pomeroy and Gilbert families owned it for long periods, Sir Walter Raleigh leased it in the late 16th-century, the Solicitor General owned it in the late 18th century, and it was home to the second generation of the Baring family in the early 19th century. In the 20th century, the estate was requisitioned during World War II and used by US forces preparing for the D Day landings in 1944.

It has been a holiday home for our family since 2000 and we worked with an award-winning architect to convert it into the modern and comfortable home that you will find today; a place where spaces flow seamlessly into each other, and which can effortlessly adapt to changing use, from informal family gatherings to great celebrations, from wrapped-up winters to outdoor summers. And all the time the eye is drawn outdoors, with different vistas from every window, as the light moves across from east to west as the day unfolds and the tide on the river ebbs and flows.

The Yallops

Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in Stoke Gabriel with an insider’s perspective.

Sandridge Barton

To Do

Sandridge Barton

Sharpham Wine are one of the earliest pioneers of the English wine industry, with a history stretching back over 40 years. Striving to produce the best quality wine from fruit carefully grown in the unique climate of the Dart Valley, mixing both modern and traditional techniques. Enjoy wine tasting and guided tours at their Sandridge Barton vineyard.

Dartington Hall, Totnes

To See

Dartington Hall, Totnes

Let´s call it estate hopping. Once your own extensive lawn and private River Dart beach have been thoroughly explored, take the short trip to this 1,200-acre estate in Dartington to spend an afternoon among the fern-covered stone walls and dramatic topiaries of its Grade II-listed gardens. After, grab a seasonal bite at The White Hart.

Circa, Sandridge Barton

To Eat

Circa, Sandridge Barton

Located inside an old stone milking parlour, a legacy of the dairy farm that it once was, Circa is all about showcasing the best produce from the estate and the local area. A place to relax and unwind, sit back and enjoy some wonderful food paired with a lovely glass of wine, grown only a stone’s throw away.

Ashburton

To See

Ashburton

This sweet little town on the edge of Dartmoor has developed a chic London feel, thanks to an influx of newcomers choosing to relocate from the capital. An established centre for antiques, don´t miss Ashburton Craftmongers for beautiful, locally made crafts, or Catherine Waters and Franklin & Hare for gorgeous antiques.

Guest Testimonials

Thank you for the most wonderful stay at your beautiful house! The energy here is so special. We instantly felt at peace and relaxed when we arrived. The views are unforgettable, we loved our walks down the river and our daughter loved playing on the lawn. The pool was one of the nicest pools we´ve ever been in. We swam in it at least twice a day! We ate, slept, rested and did jigsaws, had fun, and spent time together as a family. We made beautiful special memories we will cherish. We look forward to coming back and exploring more of this part of the country. We are totally in love with it all.

Thank you for an amazing stay at Leopoldina. We had such a fun time exploring all the beaches and villages of the South Hams. Returning to a beautiful house to relax in the grounds and by the pool was extra special. We loved the view and we are particularly grateful to stay in a house with an EV charger and powered by an ASHP- a big selling point for us. We hope to return one day soon.

Leopoldina is a wonderful home! It went above and beyond a normal house rental for accommodation. Having a heated pool meant we could use it come rain or shine, and the family got to really enjoy it. Thank you for a lovely stay.

Unique extras

From private chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and adrenalin-fuelled retreats, once you’ve booked your stay we’ll introduce you to our owner-recommended suppliers to create a truly bespoke, memorable escape.

Press

Below are a selection of features in which Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

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Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

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