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About Yarner

The History

History of Yarner House

Once governed by William the Conqueror and mentioned in the Doomsday book, Yarner’s surroundings are steeped in history. Having been a popular hunting site in Tudor times it has distinct connections with Henry V11, Henry V111, Edward V1 and Queen Mary. Thought to have had a hunting lodge settlement where the current house lies on its grounds during the Tudor dynasty. Yarner’s royal British history ended in the 15th century, as the land, owned by the Crown was sold on in 1578 by Elizabeth 1. The building of the current Yarner Manor started in 1630 and finished in 1678 by Moses Stoneham. Yarner changed hands many times throughout the subsequent centuries but this family have kept on to it as a family for over 50 years.

The unusual architecture of the house gives it character and charm; the battlements emanate that of a French chateau. This has further relevance because the word Yarner was derived from the Aquitaine French for “where the eagles soar.” Fitting because the buzzards that glide over Yarner and our surroundings are plentiful, their sound is never too far away. The Grade II listed building and its 250 acre surroundings lie within the famous Dartmoor National Park. Haytor, a ramblers’ paradise is walking distance from the property and Yarner Wood nature reserve starts just below the property’s gardens, a birdwatchers’ paradise.

It runs in the family…

Yarner House has been in the Allerfeldt (originally from Sweden)/ Holman family for 3 generations now, bought in 1964 by the Allerfeldt’s and run as a working farm, Morpa (Swedish for Grandpa) was a hardworking farmer and Mormor (Swedish for Grandmother) was a portrait / landscape painter. Making Yarner an ideal location for them both to thrive.

Whilst they lived there with their 6 children, of which Maja was one, the enormous house and the wings were split into apartments with all manner of interesting people living there, from RAF pilots to students to social workers.

When the Allerfeldt’s passed on the family home to the first generation of Holman’s, Maja and Patrick philanthropically ran the Estate as Yarner Farm School for City children. They would bring coach loads of children from deprived areas of London down to the farm to teach them about nature, nurture and show them where milk actually comes from. Giving urban children the opportunity to see a farm and farmyard animals in their natural habitats. One of the most enriching element of this venture was that for many of these children, their trip to Yarner was where they experienced a truly dark night sky and speckled starlight for the first time. Unfortunately, after a 10-year stretch, this came to an end due to the lack of educational funding.

Entrepreneurially diversifying, the Holman’s decided to run the house as a wonderful wedding venue, this has continued for over 20 years. Yarner was one of the first licensed private wedding venues in Devon. Utilising the assets of the house and area, they simultaneously ran Yarner Water, a natural water business bottling and selling natural flavoured water in recyclable packaging.

Having undergone a stunning Scandinavian renovation by Maja, the Estate glides into the third generation, with the Holman sisters at the helm. Using their combined experience, one as a photographer and the other a creative producer, they are turning Yarner into something new. With newly renovated 5* accommodation, alternative style weddings with packages to boot and a host of exciting events to run alongside festive fairs, pop up restaurant evenings, high tea’s and concerts.

The new era dawns and as ever the Allerfeldt/Holman ethos stands firmly in benevolence as they support local venture’s through business collaboration, raise money for a range of charities at the events and offer out their family home to share its wonders with the world.


Dartmoor aus dem Bilderbuch: Yarner House

Herzlich willkommen auf Yarner, unserem kleinen Landschloss in Devon! 1964 hat unsere Familie beschlossen, das Haus unserer Vorfahren für Gäste aus aller Welt zu öffnen. Die Umgebung ist seit jeher unsere Heimat. Gern zeigen wir Ihnen die schönsten Wege und Aussichtspunkte, urige Pubs und typische Restaurants.

Unsere Zimmer sind bereits mehrfach ausgezeichnet worden. Visit England stuft sie als „exceptional“ ein. Der Stil ist bewusst schnörkellos, eher skandinavisch als viktorianisch inspiriert.

Alle Zimmer haben komfortable Kingsize-Betten mit ägyptischer Baumwollwäsche. Die frischen Blumen stammen meist aus unserem Garten. In jedem Zimmer gibt es Kaffee- und Teekocher, sowie ein DAB-Radio mit iPod und einen kleinen Safe. Alle unsere Gäste erhalten eigene Pantoffeln, damit sie sich wie zu Hause fühlen. TV, Brett- und Kartenspiele stehen im gemeinsamen Wohnzimmer im Obergeschoss zur Verfügung.

Auf Yarner hören Sie Vogelgesang wie im Paradies, bei geöffneten Fenstern auch in den Schlafzimmern. Wir haben sie daher bewusst fernsehfrei und ohne Elektronik gehalten. Wir laden Sie ein, abzuschalten und eine Auszeit von der Hektik des Alltags zu nehmen.

Die Zimmer im dritten Stock sind für Selbstversorger geeignet. Dort gibt es eine offene, voll ausgestattete Küche mit großem Esstischtisch und einen Gemeinschaftssalon.In unseren Broschüren beschreiben wir das Yarner Haus und seine Umgebung. Wir bieten auch genügend sichere Parkplätze außerhalb des Hauses und können auch eine sichere Lagerung von Fahrrädern anbieten.

Accessibility at Yarner House

We have put in place a number of specific measures to make Yarner House as accessible as possible.  If you have specific needs, please do contact the team prior to your visit who will be happy to answer any queries and look to make a stay or visit as easy as possible.

Some of the team have completed Disability Awareness training from WECIL (West of England Centre for Inclusive Living) and together have many years of experience working with vulnerable adults.  This helps us to ensure we are equipped and adept at responding to a range of specific needs, whether this be access, ability, disability, dietary requirements or general assistance.

Full access to the ground floor areas is possible, but there is no ground floor accommodation, with rooms accessed via a staircase (no lift available).

The following is in place to facilitate your stay or visit :

  • We accept assistant dogs to Yarner and can offer water bowls and bedding if needed
  • We have an accessible toilet on the ground floor, suitable for guests in a wheelchair
  • We have ramps throughout the ground floor making it accessible
  • Parking is made available at the rear of the house, close to the main entrance
  • A ramp is available for access into the house
  • For our guests with visual impairments we can produce large print menus for breakfast (available on request)
  • Menus include any allergy advice
  • We offer lactose free foods including milk, cheese and any other dairy free items
  • Vegetarian and vegan options available (please advise us prior to arrival)
  • All of our bedding is hypoallergenic
  • We offer porterage of luggage to your room
  • We can assist in moving furniture in rooms if they need
  • Early check in or late check out can be arranged
  • There is generally good 4G and mobile network coverage on site, but do ask and we can check your particular network

One of the joys of Yarner House is that we are fairly remote.  But we can easily arrange a local taxi service to take guests out for dinner locally, to visit local attractions or to pick up or drop off from local public transport points.

We have details here on how to get to Yarner House.

For more information or to discuss your individual requirements, call us on 01364 661503 or email

Environmental and Social Responsibility

At Yarner House we are located in a precious natural landscape and look to do all we can to minimise ours and our guests’ impact on the local environment.  We recognise the impact we could have on the environment and that through green initiatives and working together as a team, we can contribute to making a cleaner and safer environment.

In our food and catering we use homemade and locally sourced produce.  We aim to support the local economy as best we can by sourcing as much as we can locally.

In rooms we use local soap from The Dartmoor Soap Company and can sell this and other locally produced items to our guests and visitors.

In our open fires and wood burners we use all our own wood, supplied from woodlands on the Estate, felled and seasoned for over three years so as to be as clean burning as possible.

We recycle all our plastic containers and re-use anything that we can in all our rooms. We have reusable glass bottles for water in all our rooms, instead of plastic.

We are excited to be adding new flower meadows around the house, which will be especially friendly to bees, bugs and butterflies.  Once established, we will set up our own bee hives to supply our own honey.

We recycle all our glass, plastic and cardboard.  The recycling within Dartmoor National Park has strict guidelines which we happily adhere to and promote.

All our water comes straight from three adits that sit in the hillside just above Yarner.  This pure Dartmoor water is used throughout Yarner and in the past has even been bottled for local sale.

We support the local charity Rowcroft by raising money for them annually at our Festive Fair in December.

We love to promote all that there is to see and do on Dartmoor, and can supply plenty of local area information in the Welcome Packs in all rooms plus in our guests living room, featuring local attractions, pubs and restaurants.  There is a list of some local suppliers here.