History of Bronzerock
The park started life in 1902 and is likely one of the oldest parks in the UK. A brief history of the farm and the site is below along with some old photographs of the park through the years.
The early 1900's A FAMILY FARM
The park started life in 1902 and is likely one of the oldest parks in the UK. Back in the early 20th Century the park was in fact a working farm, with only a few chalets, more than likely occupied by farm hands rather than holidaymakers. The farm belonged to Louisa and Charles Fairweather, who were both arable and diary farmers and kept a small herd of cattle, which in turn supplied milk to the village and nearby towns of Teignmouth, Dawlish and Newton Abbot.
The 1950's - BIRTH OF THE CARAVAN
In the 1950’s, Dennis Fairweather – the son of Louisa and Charles, returned from the war and took up the running of the farm, by which time it had become popular with holidaymakers as a site for cheap holidays. Around this time a number of wooden chalets had been built to accommodate the new booming holiday industry. Part of the land also remained a farm, with the next door field (known as ‘The Orchard’) having agricultural use and supplying milk for sale to the holidaymakers.
In the 1960’s the park began to become successful, and Dennis decided to run the farm as a caravan park, following the death of Louisa in 1952. Dennis was a great fan of Corgi dogs, and they can be seen in many photos of the park over the years. Around this time, much of the farm was sold off to local housing developers and builders to help with the post-war housing shortage. Back in the 1950’s the park was surrounded by lines of large Elm trees, some of which can be seen in the old photographs. Sadly these have all but died, but this did leave a wonderful view across the Devon landscape and out to sea!
The 1960's - HOLIDAYING IN THE UK
Known as Smugglers Lane Caravan Park, the park offered a range of accommodation in wooden chalets and touring caravans, with the first residents living on the park around 1962, complete with a fully tarmacked road and parking area – rare for the 1960’s where the majority of parks were still fields of grass! The rest of the park had around 50 plots for touring caravans, some of which were left sited on the park all year round. Around this time, toilets, showers and even a TV room were built on the park to cater for the growing popularity of holidaying in sunny South Devon.
THE STATIC CARAVAN
The 1970’s gave birth to the static caravan, and most of the wooden chalets and touring plots were replaced with permanently sited caravans. The park remained relatively untouched in layout until the mid 1990’s.
In the 1990’s, Dennis retired and handed the park over to his son, Robin. Robin had taken early retirement from his career in the civil service and took over the park in 1995. Robin made a number of improvements to the park but it still retained a certain charm of the 1950’s, with many of the old buildings simply kept going and Robin enjoying park life as more of a hobby than a business.
TODAY bronzerock view
In 2015, Robin suddenly passed away and left the park to his two sons, Luke and Matt. They decided that a brand new start was needed, leading to the brand new residential park, fit for the 21st century - Bronzerock View.