Dartmoor hotel where Agatha Christie created Hercule Poirot sells for £1.2m

By Nick Knight   |   Editor   |
Monday 7th March 2016 5:30 pm
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A HOTEL on Dartmoor which played a key part in putting Agatha Christie on the path to global literary success nearly 100 years ago has been sold for £1.2 million.

The undisputed Queen of Crime Novels spent a fortnight composing her first book - The Mysterious Affair at Styles - at the Moorland Hotel just below Hay Tor.

And now the new owners of the historic venue - Hieronymus Gruff Ltd - are hoping to recreate the golden age of Christie’s fictional world by recruiting ’animated’ members of staff to run the venue with 1920s panache.

They are even keen to take on ‘resting’ actors or drama students to play their parts with a healthy dose of period reality.

Christie stayed at the hotel for two weeks in 1916 writing up the tale of a certain Belgian detective by the name of Hercule Poirot.

The book did not see the light of day till 1921.

First editions of the extremely rare debut - in its dust jacket and in good condition - could today fetch between £30,000 and £50,000.

Hieronymus Gruff say they are anxious to create an ‘extraordinary destination venue’ by sensitively renovating the hotel with guidance from planning officers at Dartmoor National Park Authority.

Company spokeswoman Svengali Bumble said: ‘The Moorland deserves a sympathetic renovation and a long overdue injection of vitality - at least to acknowledge its distinguished past and exorcise its more recent decline.’

She promised: ‘We plan to make it inspirational once again. We firmly believe life is too short to be boring.’


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