The former owners of Lewtrenchard Manor are believed to be on the verge of regaining ownership of the hotel which they sold to Von Essen in 2003.

Sue and James Murray are understood to have paid less than the asking price of £750,000 for the leasehold of the 14-bedroom hotel which they previously ran for 15 years.

Located in a valley on the edge of Dartmoor, Lewtrenchard is located in a Grade II-listed Jacobean manor, dating from the early 1600s.

The Murrays are the third former owners of hotels sold to Von Essen - which collapsed into administration with debts of nearly £300m in April last year - who have decided to buy their properties back.

In December 2011, Nigel Chapman bought back Woolley Grange , Fowey Hall, Moonfleet Manor and the Ickworth hotel, along with three other properties, from the administrators, Ernst & Young. And last month Ynyshir Hall country house hotel in Powys was acquired for the second time by Joan and Rob Reen.

There are now seven of the former 27 Von Essen hotels which remain for sale through property agent, Christie + Co, including the Royal Crescent in Bath and Sharrow Bay in Cumbria.

Cliveden tops the price tag on Von Essen hotels >>

Seven Von Essen hotels sold to Halcyon Hotels and Resorts >>

Original owners buy back Ynyshir Hall from Von Essen's administrators >>

By Janet Harmer

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