White’s Devonshire Directory, written in 1850, describes Yealmpton as “a large and respectable village, with many good houses… pleasantly situated on a salubrious acclivity, overlooking the river Yealm, 7 miles E. by S. of Plymouth, and 5½ miles W. of Modbury…”
While still accurate today, there’s been an awful lot of change in the village since then. However, for well over a century, the annual Yealmpton Agricultural Show has remained an unshakeable summer fixture – “Always the last Wednesday in July”.
At this end of this month, the 132nd Yealmpton Show (as it’s now known by most) will take place in the bucolic setting of Kitley Lawns with elegant Kitley House Hotel as its backdrop. The Elizabethan manor house was built some 500 years ago by descendants of Mr James Bastard, known to most simply as Spike, who holds the honour of being the Show’s current President. His family look forward to the event each year, just as the hotel staff and the rest of the village do.
Yealmpton Show remains a special and unique event in the area, drawing exhibitors and visitors from all corners of the county. It is an event to be treasured – a great Family Day Out, as well as a place to catch up with friends and neighbours.
The Show may only last a day, but it takes a full year to plan and only happens at all because the main committee is supported by a band of willing volunteers, who help with setting up, parking, stewarding and countless other activities which bring the showground to life year after year with a lively mix of equestrian events, displays, agricultural and horticultural competitions and countryside crafts.
In the last year, Kitley House Hotel has undergone a transformation internally following a sympathetic, yet extensive, programme of renovation and refurbishment. Those of you who have ventured down the long drive will have noticed that that too has been much improved!
Kitley House is much more than a scenic backdrop to the Show, however. It has been at the heart of village life for centuries and continues to welcome the local community for events, a meal out or just a casual drink in the bar.
On Show Day or any day, you’ll be a very welcome guest!