MDE20991 - Shelley's Cottage Hotel (Building)


A boarding house, now hotel, built c.1840 and subject to alteration, especially due to flood damage. It was originally called 'Woodbine Villa'. This is one of the suggested locations at which Shelley is believed to have stayed in Lynmouth.

Please read the .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

No 8 (Shelley's Cottage), Watersmeet Road (there seems to be some doubt locally whether Shelley stayed here or in the cottage on Mars Hill). Probably mid 19th Century, 2 storey plastered house. Slate roof.2 wings meet at an obtuse angle. 2 gables have ornamental barge boards. Canted 1st floor splayed bay with 3-light sash. Other windows include wood casements and sash windows with glazing bars. [1] There is strong evidence to suggest the poet Shelley stayed in lodgings on the site of the hotel in 1812. There is little physical evidence of buildings on the site before the early nineteenth Century. The 1841 tithe map shows a building and the 1889 Ordnance Survey map shows a building similar in shape to the current building known as "Woodbine Villa" [3]. There are refences to a fire in 1907 which destroyed the cottage rented by Shelley. The northwest side of the building was substantially damaged during the 1952 flood. The southern wing of the building was rebuilt in the 1950s. A line drawing dating between 1840 and 1855 shows the building before the eastern extension was added. The building was brought by its current owners in 1998 who undertook major refurbishment including extensive work to the roof. [2] Shelley’s Cottage Hotel occupies a prominent corner site, and makes the rival claim that Shelley at least lodged here. In a biography “Life of Shelley” published in 1886, there is supporting evidence of this, when part of the present building, which appears on the 1841 Tithe map was called Woodbine Cottage. This was a small early 19th Century villa with recessed two-bay centre, and projecting gabled wings facing east. There are some Regency features including small-pane sash and casement windows with thin glazing bars, canted oriel above French doors with side-lights and iron trellis work flanking the six-panel entrance door. The right hand wing was badly damaged in 1952 and has been removed with the north-facing range, almost all rebuilt since the flood. [4] The building was visited in April 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 6. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . HHR: Lynton (3 Sept 1973) 18.
  • <2> Report: Bletcher, J. G.. 2011. Historic Building Survey: Shelley's Hotel, Lynmouth.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <4> Report: Fisher, J.. 2003. Lynmouth: Conservation Area Character Appraisal. 17.
  • <5> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.



Grid reference Centred SS 7239 4937 (36m by 21m)
Map sheet SS74NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 858/1/4/89
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 24070
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/131

Record last edited

Jun 16 2021 10:26AM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.