New garden room

Bernard’s Acre was built as a holiday home some time in the 1920’s and was owned by an Exeter family with active  Methodist connections. The property was then known as ‘Ladybrook” and perched on the edge of the high moor and bordering the river Taw, made famous in the novel, Tarka the Otter.

Bernard’s Acre Trust was formed in memory of Bernard Partridge, an energetic and inspirational youth leader at Belmont Chapel in Exeter. In 1973, at the age of 42 Bernard died of cancer before he could realise one of his long standing ambitions to set up a centre on the moor for church groups

In 1976 the property was bought at Auction by the Bernard’s Acre Trust with the intention of setting up a residential centre for youth groups and Christian families. By now a mature moorland garden had grown up around the building and after the addition of a Kitchen, showers and a drying room Bernard’s Acre was open for business. 

In 2009 the freehold property and net assets of the Bernard’s Acre Trust were transferred to Bernard’s Acre, a company which is limited by guarantee (company registration no. 6932120) and is a registered charity (no. 1131269).

2016 saw a transfer to a new set of trustees who have started an ambitious 5 year refurbishment plan.


Paul Sowden, along with his wife Rosemary have been responsible for 99% of the changes we have made