History 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.