The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at Moonfleet is its friendly and home-like atmosphere. Though the building may be historic, our welcome is never formal.
Immortalised by J Meade Falkner’s novel Moonfleet, the village of Fleet is a top destination for families and literature lovers alike. Throughout the centuries, Moonfleet Manor has played a pivotal role in Dorset’s history. Today, it’s dedicated to creating unforgettable family friendly holidays. We’re passionate about time spent well, so let us worry about all the details; just be sure to bring your imagination.
Moonfleet is forever bound with Falkner’s classic tale of smuggling, which was published in 1898 and made famous the manor’s original owners, the Mohune family. In it, the ghost of long-dead Colonel ‘Blackbeard’ Mohune is said to haunt the local churchyard, concealing a secret passage underneath the family vault.
Though the story is fictional, the family was indeed real. Maximillion Mohune built Fleet House, as it was originally known, in 1603. This residency was short, however: in the 18th century, the house passed into the Gould family, who extended and altered it in fine Georgian style. As fashions changed, further remodelling and restoration took place in the 1890s under the ownership of the George family.
When the Second World War broke out, Moonfleet’s then-owner Lady Noble moved to Bath and the house was requisitioned for use by American and British troops. In 1944, Fleet was a concentration area ahead of embarkation for the Normandy landings. On D-Day, the US Rangers left from Weymouth for Omaha Beach; a location immortalised in the film Saving Private Ryan.
The manor was broken up and sold after the war, being converted into a hotel in 1945. Nigel Chapman and Nicholas Dickinson (later Luxury Family Hotels) came into possession in 1997, immediately embarking on a £1 million refurbishment plan. Today, the hotel retains its unique Georgian style while offering contemporary comfort.
Luxury Family Hotels
Together, we’ll help you craft the perfect holiday, whether it’s activity-fuelled or simply powered by tea and cake. Relax with a treatment or sip a drink on the veranda while the kids are cared for in our crèche. Or venture out as a family onto the South West Coast Path, which runs along the end of our garden. Our daily digest, the Moonfleet Times, provides plenty of ideas for things to do, and our staff are always on hand to help make your holiday perfect.
We’re also a thoroughly dog friendly hotel: after all, no adventure is complete when four-legged friends are left behind.
And your imagination? Well, that’s where you’ll find the smugglers.