Luxurious Devon hotel has now gone bust leaving whopping debts

Lewtrenchard Manor on the fringe of Dartmoor in Devon
Lewtrenchard Manor on the fringe of Dartmoor in Devon -Credit:Lewtrenchard Manor/Good Hotel Guide 2021

The company which ran a luxurious Devon hotel and restaurant has gone bust leaving debts of more than £400,000 unlikely to be paid. The three-star, family-run Lewtrenchard Manor, at Okehampton, closed in February citing “difficult trading conditions” and leaving 25 workers out of a job.

Now Lewtrenchard Manor Ltd has entered voluntary liquidation owing thousands of pounds to its workers, and more to the tax authorities. Documents filed at Companies House show the company, owned by three members of the Murray family, has left £23,700 in cash, but it is unlikely any other assets will be realised. The company’s statement of affairs said the leasehold property is worth £368,536 but said none of this value will be realised.

The cash that is available will go towards paying £27,346 owed to 34 workers as preferential creditors, but still leaving them £3,646 short. A further claim from 23 employees, as unsecured creditors, amounts to £27,038.

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The statement of affairs said that among those claiming money is HM Revenue and Customs, seeking £123,699 in unpaid VAT and £89,477 in unpaid Income Tax. The hotel’s landlord, The Baring-Gould Corporation is owed £50,000. In total, it is expected that creditors will be left owed £434,799.

Lewtrenchard Manor Ltd was incorporated in 2011 but appointed liquidators in April, 2024. The venue had already shut in February and its website today said: “The hotel and restaurant is closed until further notice. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

The establishment was one of the most prestigious in the South West with its hotel awarded three stars by the AA, and its restaurant two AA rosettes. It was included in the Good Hotel Guide which named it Romantic Hotel of the Year in 2022. It also won a Trencherman’s Award and a certificate of excellence by Tripadvisor.

The Murray family issued a statement when the hotel shut which said: “It is with a significant amount of regret that we have permanently closed Lewtrenchard Manor. We made this decision with a heavy heart, but due to difficult trading conditions since Covid and several failed sales of our lease we had no further options to us.

"Our thoughts are with all the members of our wonderful and fantastic team who have lost their jobs, and we wish them all the best for the future, and to so many guests we count as friends, who chose to stay and visit us time and time again."

The hotel is part of the Lewtrenchard Estate, which comprises about 800 acres, and is owned by the Baring-Gould Corporation, which is controlled by descendants of the Rev Sabine Baring-Gould, an Anglican priest and novelist who wrote several famous hymns including Onward, Christian Soldiers. Comedian Josh Widdicombe is a distant descendent.

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