Cockington Court and the Drum Inn

All on Devon Local List
  • Parkland
  • Walled Kitchen Garden
Local Authority:
OS Grid Ref:
SX 894 635
Map no.:
Landranger 202

Cockington Court is the largest of Torbay’s many public parks and gardens. The de Cockington family held the manor from 1130 to 1349, some time after which it was sold to Sir William Cary, whose family held the estate for nearly three hundred years. It was sold in 1654 to Roger Mallock, a rich Exeter goldsmith whose family, in turn, occupied the estate until 1932. Parts of the Tudor house survive, but there was extensive remodelling by Rawlin Mallock in about 1673. The whole estate was put up for sale in 1932 and was bought by the Cockington Trust. In April 1933, Cockington Court and 223 acres were leased by the Trust for 999 years to the Borough Council, which subsequently bought the freehold for £50,000. The village of Cockington was put up for sale in 1946, when the Prudential Assurance Company bought twenty-seven of the twenty-nine lots on offer. Cockington Valley is now largely owned by the Torbay Council and the Prudential. It is managed as a Country Park, with support from the Countryside Commission. The grounds include mature avenue and specimen trees, a wide variety of shrubs and a formal walled garden. To the south-east, with tunnel access beneath the Totnes Road, the ornamental parkland is dominated by a series of connected large ponds below Hellinghay Plantation. At the entrance to the grounds is a picturesque lodge, with a rustic verandah on tree trunks supporting the thatched roof.

The formal gardens to the adjacent Drum Inn (Sir Edwin Lutyens, 1934) are an integral part of the overall designed landscape.

Listed Buildings

Cockington Court listed Grade II*,

The Drum Inn (Lutyens), Garden Wall, Higher Lodge, Lower Lodge, Cottage in Hellinghay Plantation, Stone Bridge,  all listed Grade II


Cherry & Pevsner, The Buildings of England – Devon, 1989: 834-5
S Pugsley: Devon Gardens – An Historical Survey, 1994: 68, 155, 157
T Gray, The Garden History of Devon, 1995: 73-4
Connell: Cockington, 1993
Devon Rural Skills Trust: The Story of Cockington Valley, undated
L Lang: Old Cockington, 1971: 30-31
T Gray: Devon Country Houses and Gardens Engraved Vol I, 2001: 75

Related designers:

50.463918, -3.564543