Discover the history of Fowey Hall in Cornwall

Our history

With over 130 years of history, it's safe to say that our country house has a tale or two to tell. Inside, you'll find details that hint at its past as a family home, as well as baroque plasterwork and early Arts and Crafts touches.


Construction on Fowey Hall begins

Designed to showcase the wealth of its nouveau riche owner, Charles Hanson, Fowey Hall was built in a prime position above the coastal town of Fowey. The house wasn't finished until 1899, taking an entire decade to complete - a testament to the sheer splendour of the property.


The Wind in the Willows published

Through his mother's family, Charles Hanson became close friends with Kenneth Grahame. His letters from Fowey Hall formed the basis of the classic children's novel, The Wind in the Willows, and elements of the house are believed to have inspired the description of Toad Hall.


Charles Hanson becomes an influential figure then passes the house to his son, Charles Hanson

Throughout the course of his life, Charles Hanson became an influential figure. Heavily involved in the London stockbroking scene, he went on to be elected as MP for Bodmin, and eventually became Lord Mayor of London in 1917. You can still see his mayoral chain on display at Fowey Museum. In 1922, Charles Hanson died, leaving his wife, who lived on at Fowey Hall until her death two years later. The house then passed to their son, Sir Charles Hanson, who lived there for over 30 years.


Fowey Hall used by American officers during WWII

During the Second World War, Fowey Hall was requisitioned for use by the US 29th Division as they prepared for the D-Day landings. Despite its size, the house wasn't big enough for everyone, so huts were built in the grounds to provide accommodations for them all.


Fowey Hall sold to Countrywide Holidays Association

Upon the death of Sir Charles Hanson in 1958, the house was sold to Countrywide Holidays Association, who converted it into a hostel for use by walkers and bird lovers.


Luxury Family Hotels purchases Fowey Hall

When Luxury Family Hotels purchased Fowey Hall in 1998, we set about restoring the house to its former glory. The eight-month restoration project saw the ground floor renovated to showcase the original layout, and now, the library, morning room, drawing room, and billiard room have been returned to their original uses. As you walk through the house, it's easy to spot the original details and features that remained largely undisturbed over the course of the last century.


Fowey Hall undergoes an extensive refurbishment of the main house and courtyard

All existing spaces were given a new lease of life courtesy of the London-based design studio, StudioJill.


A multi-million pound expansion establishes Fowey Hall as the Luxury Family Hotels' flagship

The Fowey Hall estate was expanded, with the addition of 24 new rooms and suites, a brand new outdoor pool and the re-modelling of the spa.