Skip to content Skip to navigation

Moor the Merrier - A warm welcome at The Drake Manor Inn

Blog Tags: 

A pub can be a magical place.

In his 1968 book, ‘Journey Through Britain,’ John Hillaby said, “Few things are more pleasant than a village graced with a good church, a good priest and a good pub” and I think he got it just about right.

Buckland Monachorum is a charming unspoilt village within the Dartmoor National Park surrounded by glorious countryside.

Towering over the village is the beautiful church of St.Andrews and nestling snugly up against it is The Drake Manor Inn. The local priest was not in evidence when we visited, but as luck would have it, I had one with me and John Hillaby’s three stars were thus aligned!


Just a short distance from Yelverton and within easy access of Plymouth and Tavistock, the Inn nestling between the church and the stream is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the charm of this historic community.

The village is famous for its association with Sir Francis Drake, who lived at Buckland Abbey just outside the town. Indeed, Drake's pew is within the church, with a carving of his ship, the Golden Hind, incised in the side panel.

The Drake Manor Inn was originally built to house the skilled workers constructing St Andrews Church in the 12th century. The present church was built a little later in around 1490 on the site of the earlier one, and has always had close links with Buckland Abbey, a mile or so to the south.

The pub building was acquired by Drake in the 1600s and may have been the former church house.


It became part of the Buckland Abbey estate and was used as a maltings where grain was steeped and prepared for brewing.

It is said that some of the beams and timbers in the Inn could have come from some of Drake’s old sailing boats, but wherever they came from, they certainly create bags of atmosphere, charm and character.

The Drake Manor offers a big, warm welcome and a very good selection of locally sourced home cooked food along with local ales, ciders and wines from two delightful bars.

I noticed that the menu sourced home-reared pork, honey from their own bees and, tantalisingly, handmade pork pies served with Jail Ale chutney.

The friendly landlady, Mandy Robinson, has been licensee at the Drake Manor Inn since 1989 and has run this charming little pub with great care and thought. She and her smiling staff made us extremely welcome and she proudly showed us around.


The heavily beamed public bar had a warm and intimate feel to it and on our visit, the locals too were friendly and welcoming. There were long tables with cushioned wall seats and old photograph prints of the village from 1905. There was some horse tack, some ship’s crests and wood burning stoves in some very big stone fireplaces.

There is also a dart board sited in the only available place it could go. It is featured in some of the old photographs and obviously hasn’t moved for at least a hundred years.

This being so; if there is a game going on when you visit, and you choose to sit at the table in front of the wood burner, be prepared to duck. Otherwise your evening could well turn out to be a re-enactment of The Little Big Horn!

Adjacent to the dart board, a small arch from the bar leads on to a gorgeous low-beamed snug room hung with tiny cups and big brass keys.

The second bar fronts a small beamed dining room with settles and tables on flagstones. There is a further area next to the kitchen that at one time was the landlord’s front room.

There is a lovely cottage garden to the side of the pub, and it comes as no surprise to learn that Morris Men perform outside in the summer and there is occasional mellow acoustic music in the bar, probably very much like it was in Drake’s day.


Mandy told us that she prided herself on on running a ‘proper pub’, with a menu of locally-sourced delights. The full dining room was proof that the Inn serves good food at sensible prices and indeed in 2017 it was the ‘Best Value Pub of the Year’ in The CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

It was compared to fellow pubs across the country but judges decided that when based on the criteria of having ‘interesting main courses for under £11,’ then there was only one winner. The Drake Manor Inn.


I admit, my attention wavered from time to time as I couldn’t take my eyes off the pork pies displayed on the bar as Mandy told me, “Our menu feature traditional and speciality home cooked food which is locally sourced with the emphasis on freshness. It was wonderful to be rewarded for our efforts.

Self-contained bed and breakfast accommodation is  available upstairs in the pub and dogs are welcome in the main bar and garden.”

We were a little bit too late to sample the food menu, but the ‘Squealer Pork Pie and Jail Ale Chutney’ was making my mouth water.

Real ales are tried and tested gaining cask marque and CAMRA accreditation.

On our visit I tasted Sharp’s Atlantic and Dartmoor Jail Ale.


Sharp’s Atlantic Bitter is a golden beer with a fruity nose and taste notes of barley sugar and grapefruit at a steady 4.5% ABV. Sharp's flagship bitter, Doom Bar was also on sale, but I have never tried Atlantic, so I thought I’d give it a go.  It presented as an amber golden ale with a thin white head. The aroma was clean and almost medicinal. The taste was more malty and biscuity with a kind of dry bitterness that grew more pleasing as the glass emptied. A refreshing ale that does not taste as strong as it claims to be.

I finished, rather predictably with a pint of Dartmoor Jail Ale. Sir Francis Drake himself could have said that ‘this beer is as smooth as a cashmere codpiece’ if he had been lucky enough to taste it.  Brewed by Dartmoor Brewery this is a full and reassuring deep and golden brown coloured bitter has a sweet burnt, malty and fruity quality with a distinctive hoppy aroma and a yeasty caramel taste.

It should be said that we felt totally relaxed and completely at home in the Drake Manor Inn.

Surrounded by its cosy, rich history, it felt like we had stepped in to a time warp that was at once evocative and reassuring.

There was an offer for a 'Take Me Home-2 Pints' advertised on the door so my driver, as I now refer to my wife, much to her chagrin, could take a treat home for me as well!

She elected not to.

However I had already decided that my going home treat was going to be a handmade pork pie with Jail Ale chutney. It was presented to me in a proper take away container as well.


The Drake Manor Inn - A welcome as warm as the wood burning stoves inside. A proper old fashioned pub with memories that will certainly linger longer than my pork pie – which was consumed later with a further flourish…. Jail Ale mustard!

About Rick

rick---blogger-web.jpgRick began life in the licensed trade as a manager and took his first tenancy at the Queens Hotel in Baildon, West Yorkshire in 1985. He fell in love with the Autovac  dispense system of Yorkshire beer serving a  tight creamy head and vowed to recreate it in Plymouth one day. He served as a staff trainer for Tetley Brewery in the days when they still had one!

After the birth of his daughter it became his mission to raise her in Plymouth and on a trip to watch his beloved Plymouth Argyle play in the FA Cup against Everton, he saw a pub that had been closed due to fire called The Grapes. By 1989 he had signed a 10 year tenancy deal and completely refurbished the pub creating a Yorkshire theme and changed its name to the Three Ferrets, which was the name of the pub in the John Smiths TV advertising campaign. John Smiths cask ale was imported from Tadcaster especially for him and trade boomed. The pub became a destination and was packed solid at weekends. Inspired by ‘The Good Old Days’ TV show, a Sunday Night Show called ‘The Old Fat Hippy’s Golden Oldies Funshow’ became notorious and earned the pub a mention on the national news due to a ‘Clocking On’ machine for regulars.

Julian Tarrant-Boyce was his most able and trusted bar manager and the two shared many trips to beer festivals and hostelries on their quest for the perfect pint. Rick still enjoys trips to breweries up and down the country and is dismayed by the difficulties now facing the licensed trade. Several awards later he became a representative for a wine company and a fan of single malt whisky.

There is nothing that Rick enjoys more than a trip to a well-run pub that serves good local ale. Because of his knowledge of the brewing process and vast range of beers, both local and national, it makes Rick a perfect beer blogger for our ale trail. And by the way, he still performs music and comedy in pubs throughout the South West


Excellent article! We have many places like this in Florida especially in Miami, you can find a great company like 

<a href=““>public adjuster Miami</a>

Thanks for sharing 

Thanks so much for sharing! You can visit us here

Lovely blog, thanks! visit us

Nice article thank you!

A very nice blog would be there soon visiting!

Great place to visit, also visit our page

This is a cool idea. Cold Porcelain clay figures

a must see place can't wait to visit this place.

I am heading to Dartmoor next year, look forward to staying at the inn and checking out the pub!


very cool. if you need a construction company, hit me up.

- Regular pub sessions - visitors are very welcome at these sessions. ... All welcome to perform, join in and shape the sessions - run by Derek Moore. ... folk session, The Drake Manor Inn, The Village, Buckland Monachorum, ... Open mic night hosted by Jennifer Mcateer - all musicians are warmly welcomed. by followersaustralia

Wondermouse technology is the top notch Responsive web design company in Delhi that offers innovative solutions that fulfill your business objectives. A team of young enthusiasts are here to provide all-round business management assistance to provide for your achievement. After evaluating the current market for significant future growth, hundreds of well-tested approaches are introduced. We are specialized in website design and web development services. Our website developers provide our clients with expert development of web applications and Web design services. We also provide services worldwide as Web design Dubai .

The firm guarantees availability of Top Essay Writing Services as well as high-quality Best Essay Writing Service in USA and Cheap Essay Writing Services which will grant you excellence in your endeavors. 


pest control local is the very best service provider as we have known they are available in the market at a long time Pest Control in KolkataPest Control in PunePest Control in Mumbai

Get ready for another warm welcome from Chris and Fabia at The Peacock and once ... On Inn is next to Shipley Station and close to bus routes, so use public ...... Venue: The Penny Fun, Moor Allerton, Leeds Hares: Lick It Up, Black Widow ...... We are inviting SH3 and NH3 etc ,the more the merrier !, to this majestic trail ...

by followers uk

Moor The Merrier A Warm Welcome At Drake Manor Inn. Hogs Bottom Produces Small ... Sample Menu – Drake Manor Inn. Tunworth The Cheese Shed ...

by followers uk

Very useful post. I always Joker123 prefer to read the quality content and this thing I found in you post. Thank you for writing this information.

I love these types of places to stay! So fun!! The history is amazing!

Leo - springfield fence company | home pagefence saint louis 

I love that dogs are welcome! I'll definitely be bringing mine! | |

This looks like it was an amazing adventure! Very cool to see! land clearing logan ut

Understudies normally search for economics academic writing service when they can't handle their relegated undertaking without anyone else. They favor taking assistance with economics essay writing service for subjects that are extremely intense and can't be overseen by them. That economics dissertation writing service can be as their older folks or cohorts or past undertaking tests. Be that as it may, there is surely an enormous contrast between an expert economics coursework writing service and a beginner, an example paper and a reasonable venture accommodation.

We are a logo design services Phoenix, web design services Phoenix, web development services Phoenix, and PR organization in one super-inventive blender. online marketing services Phoenix, and mobile app development services Phoenix consistently present special Website structures coded with the present current innovations, web based life crusades, SEO upgrades, and income driving advertising systems for deals leads and client obtaining.

Thanks for sharing this great post! stump removal

Excellent article! I am a regular reader of this blog

Really this is a great post! Cincinnati stump removal

I am very excited to bring my team here from our Minnesota tree company.

wow! nice post please keep it up gas refill

Very useful information for all of us Omaha Tree Removal

Thanks! Here you find some health tips. 

Best Probiotics For Men

Best Iron Supplement

Noopept Review


I love this website very much! tree stump removal

it was an amazing adventure! Spokane arborist

Thank you for the Blog. It is a fabulous one I ever read. Fort Wayne tree company

The best tree removal services in the columbus ga area.

The best tree service in macon ga area.

<p>looks like a blast! <a href="">surf journalism</a> <a href="">virtual marketing</a> <a href="">lawn mowing company</a> <a href="">high-rise window cleaning</a></p>


I found so much interesting knowledge in your article especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your content website post, dissertation editing services uk - dissertation writers in uk - dissertation methodology

The post is interesting. It explores the Moor the Merrier - A warm welcome at The Drake Manor Inn. In his 1968 book, ‘Journey Through Britain,’ John Hillaby said, “Few things are more pleasant than a village graced with a good church, a good priest and a good pub”. Towering over the village is the gorgeous church of St. Andrews and is located snugly up against it is The Drake Manor Inn.


Paper writing service

Despite the low fees charged when you seek Professional Nursing Writing Services and Legitimate Custom Nursing Paper Services, the company still maintain high quality Custom Nursing Research Paper Services.

 I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…bubble shooter

 I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…bubble shooter

Looking forward to touring this place!




Fill in your email address here to download our map in PDF format

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.