The estate of Dartington is spread out over 1200 acres in South Devon. The Hall was erected between 1388 and 1400 for John Holand, Earl of Huntingdon, Richard II's half-brother. After John was beheaded, the estate came into the ownership of the Crown.
In 1559 Sir Arthur Champernowne, who was Vice-Admiral of the West under Elizabeth I, purchased the property and his family in succession owned the estate for over 350 years. Subsequently it fell into dereliction for a time until Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst acquired it in 1925. They restored the decaying fabric of the building; soon afterwards the Dartington Hall Trust was established.