The Rock Inn & Complex
Originally a Coaching House, believed to date back to the 16th century, The Rock Inn was converted from a private house over two hundred years ago, coming from the Shillabeer family, through marriage in the late 1880’s. Algy Langton had the foresight to increase the size of the coaching house in order to create a hotel enticing tourists to stay and enjoy the fresh air, golf and riding. However, buckling under the pressure of the foreign holiday market the hotel was closed in 1967 and converted into twelve apartments which are now let out to tenants. The current owners, Sue Callow and her brother Paul Langton are Algy’s grandchildren.
Affectionately known by locals as “The Wet Rock”, as opposed to the Dry Rock of Udel Tor on Roborough Down, it has known many changes over the 125 years of Langton ownership. There are a series of delightful historic photographs in the lounge bar today illustrating the evolution of this lively inn.
On his death in 1972 Algy passed on ownership to his sons Guy and George, whom residents will remember as outgoing, popular and lively men. George, the younger of the brothers was father to Sue and Paul the present owners, as well as four other children.
George was a ‘hail fellow well met’ landlord in the pub until 1981 when his eldest son Paul returned from Australia to take over the business. Paul inherited Algy’s imagination altering the Back Bar, building a pool room and refurbishing the public bar, converting it into the Farmers Bar. Other improvements and alterations followed with the extension of the lounge bar and the creation of the large very popular patio to name but two.
Sue returned from Bristol with her husband, Richard, in 1982. Sue and Richard bought the adjoining garage and Paul purchased the Dentist block from their father. These buildings were converted into the small business complex which today houses the hairdressers, dental surgery, Bridal Studio, beauticians, foot clinic and a florist.
“Woburn House” was built in 1985 on the garden behind what is now Mirrors hairdressers. Woburn House now successfully houses a range of small businesses – renowned tattoo artist, an accountancy firm and a stockbroker. PL20 Pilates studio is run by Sue and Richard’s son-in-law Nick. Accomplished, well respected and highly trained, he offers quality, personalised Pilates exercise classes and 1:1 sessions.
Older residents of Yelverton may remember the original Rock Hotel vegetable plot which is now the Yelverton Health Centre.
Grenville Park, the housing developement behind The Rock Inn, was originally pasture land for livestock, ensuring the hotel was self sufficient with its own supply of pigs, chickens, geese and cows – the journey from field to fork was short and definitely traceable in those days.
Sue joined her brother in the business in 1992. Together they have been instrumental and a continued driving force in instigating further improvements. They have increased business with their kind hearted and welcoming approach to staff and customers. Both are keen to ensure the smooth daily running of the pub and work hard in all areas of the business to ensure that high standards are met.
Paul also runs their sister pub, The Whitchurch Inn, just four miles away in Whitchurch near Tavistock, where the welcome is just as warming and follows the Rock Inn's friendly service.
The Rock Inn has always been a free house, and is not attached to a pub group or brewery.
The bar is stocked with a wide range of Westcountry real ales and wines. Jail Ale is a popular local real ale from Dartmoor Brewery, Princetown and The Rock Inn sells more of this brew than any other family owned pub!
The chef takes great pride in sourcing produce for the menu using local suppliers, keeping food miles to a minimum and ensuring high quality.
The Rock Inn celebrated 120 years of Langton ownership in 2008. In order to celebrate with and thank their customers, a music festival was planned over the last weekend of July that year. Local bands played all weekend in the marquee. Following the success of the festival, it has now become an annual event enjoyed by many.
We have a very popular New Year’s Eve celebration, again in a marquee on our patio where we host popular bands for the over 21’s to enjoy.
The Langton’s are rightly proud of their heritage and have invested much of their lives into this busy inn. It is a full time commitment and a tie that binds, although Sue says, “We wouldn’t be without The Rock, and are excited about what the future will bring for upcoming generations of our family.”