About Bearslake Inn
As owners of Bearslake Inn we have lived in the Dartmoor National Park now for over 13 years, we understand the importance of a fine country pub for Dartmoor residents and visitors alike. We are custodians of the Bearslake's history and cannot wait to invite you to share in the magic of this quintessential thatched, 13th Century Dartmoor Inn. Whether it be a quick pint, light bite or one of our 'Dine & Stay' packages, we, along with our dedicated team, will do our best to make your time with us memorable for all the right reasons.
Bearslake Inn is a historic 13th century inn packed full of local history. Now a Grade II listed building and as such, we are striving to protect the authenticity of its original features. So although there is free Wifi throughout the pub, please bear in mind that cob and granite walls make for patchy signal at times. We also only take card payments so please leave your cash at home. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Julian Tarrant-Boyce & Lisa Jenkins
The Secret Garden
Almost every customer who stops at our idyllic country Inn says the same words to us when they leave, "I drive past here all the time and I never knew that this was here". Hard to believe right...but it's true. We may have one of the most photographed public houses in the National Park but our pub garden is something of a secret in these parts. At almost 250 foot, its own babbling brook and moorland views, we think more people should be in the know. In 2019 we added to our gardens charm with an outside bar area.
History of Bearslake Inn
Many people ask us where the name Bearslake comes from; this is as much of the story as we have been able to piece together so far...Bear or be-re comes from the old Devon word meaning wooded place. Lake is the hamlet where the farm is located; so the original name may have meant the wooded place in Lake. Why Lake? One theory dates back to the Civil war. The two nearby villages of Sourton and Bridestowe were divided one supporting the Royalists and the other the Parliamentarians. The story goes that there was a big battle between then two villages resulting in so many deaths that the area was a lake of blood. There is certainly no evidence of any other form of lake ever having been here.
If walls could speak
Bearslake Inn is a historic 13th century building packed full of local history. The oldest part of the Inn is the bar and the first room to the left when you enter through the front door and was originally a Devon Longhouse. The longhouse is a dual purpose building providing both human and animal shelter under one roof. What is now the bar would have once been the Shippen (animal accommodation). The entrance hall is part of the original Cross Passage comprising a front and back door, separating the human accommodation which would have been to the left of the main door and is now the first of our cosy bar rooms.
The first longhouse would not have had chimneys or any first floor accommodation. The fire would have been in the main room with the smoke going straight up into the thatch. The original building was extended in the 16th and 17th centuries. At which time the chimneys, the parlor wing, and first floor accommodation were added.
Licensee roll of honour
1956 - 1974 Joe Sweet
1974 - 1981 Morag Hayne
1981 - 1988 Mike Power
1988 - 1995 Ray Taylor
1995 - 2000 John & Yvonne Streeter
2000 - 2004 Phil & Sue Acton
2004 - 2018 Simon & Christine Cross
2018 - Julian Tarrant-Boyce & Lisa Jenkins