About Ranscombe House
Ranscombe House was built around 1750 for a Sea Captain. It has also been a private home for several families in its long history, originally being built for its views over Torbay and its location so close to the harbour. Over the years it has served as a hotel, B&B and also let as family holiday accommodation.
The Swashbuckling History of Torbay
There was a time in history when Torbay wasn’t known for its beautiful coastal destinations or its fresh-from-the-ocean cuisine.
In the seventeenth century the coast of Torbay was being routinely ransacked by Barbary pirates, otherwise known as the Ottoman corsairs, were so famous that Samuel Pepys wrote about them in his diary.
One of the most famous Barbary pirates is Captain Jack Ward- the inspiration behind Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean series. He was known as the “greatest scoundrel that ever sailed from England” and was previously a privateer in the English navy before turning to piracy. He was known to plunder the shores of Torbay along with his fleet of ships.
Although there was never any permanent occupation of Torbay, ships full of pirates would come and go from the coast, the shores brightened during the 1700s when early visitors remarked that the area was “a bit of sunny Italy” against the grey and fierce English coast.
Coincidentally the Barbary pirates were eventually stopped when the United States conducted the First and Second Barbary Wars, which ended in a payment of tribute. The peace treaty that was instated was broken by Algiers in 1807 until Britain compelled them to reinstate it.
Brixham Harbour: 0.4 miles
Brixham Marina: 0.5 miles
The Strand Road: 0.3 miles
Battery Gardens: 0.9 miles
Fishcombe Cove: 1.3 miles
Churston Cove: 1.4 miles