A 67-bedroom manor meant for a famous engineer has just become available

Got a big family and in need of a new home?

You’re in luck – a luxurious manor with 67 bedrooms in Torquay, Devon has just become available.

The charming property, which is being marketed at an undisclosed sum, was once intended as the retirement home for the Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a civil engineer considered ‘one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history’.

Isambard, who died in 1859, worked on the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Thames Tunnel.


He had hoped to retire in Torquay and started buying up land in the area during the 1840s and 50s, before remodelling the landscape, planting trees and starting the planning for his grand home.

Unfortunately, he passed away before the project was finished and James Crompton, a paper manufacturer, took over in 1873.

James made some significant changes to the manor, including amending its exterior style into a French design and called the property Watcombe Park.




Since then, it’s been owned by MPs, aristocrats, businessmen and during World War II, the Stockwell College of Education.

In addition to its many bedrooms, it also has high ceilings, ornate plasterwork and several fireplaces, with bay windows overlooking the incredible grounds.


‘This is a spectacular building with lots of potential for a variety of uses,’ said Rhiannon Charles from Savills, who is managing the sale.

‘It’s been kept in good condition by the current owners, and could be refurbished into apartments or a hotel.’

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