The historic Berkley Manor was originally built in the early 1950’s by island legend, Mr. Sam Jones.
In addition to the Berkley, Mr. Jones also designed the Castle (currently a bed and breakfast), the Home Place, and the Whittler’s Club (currently a private residence). You may notice their similar appearances. Locals suggest that Mr. Jones constructed the Berkley as a means to provide commercial fishermen an income in the wintertime. Rumor also has it that there were no original blueprints, but the eccentric Sam Jones would arrive to the job site each week with different design ideas and additions to include. Following completion, Mr. Jones used the Berkley Manor to entertain wealthy business clients and throw community events. Since the 1950’s Ocracoke locals and visitors alike have used the Berkley as an event venue.
Fast-forwarding to the present day, Berkley Events was founded when several like-minded partners purchased the Berkley Manor and surrounding estate in 2012 in order to save the property from demolition and development. The Berkley Suites and Berkley Barn had not yet been reconstructed. Even as it changed hands since Sam Jones’ ownership, the Berkley remained a popular location to hold special events- from weddings to prom! So it only made sense that the current owners should continue that tradition of being the premier Ocracoke Island event venue.
With new ownership, many new improvements have been added to the venue. In the spring of 2015 the Berkley kitchen was officially re-opened through a partnership with Zillie’s Island Pantry in order to provide guests with exquisite in-house catering options. 2016-2018 brought with it many more exciting additions. During this time, the owners added back original Berkley buildings which were demolished over the years – the Berkley Barn and the Berkley Suites. The Berkley Barn, which was originally used to house Sam Jones’ horses, was the main and only location for large parties and events on Ocracoke from the mid 1970’s-2001. While it is not an exact replica, it is in the same location and serves the same purpose- to provide an outdoor event pavilion for Berkley guests and island events.
Also demolished in the early 2000’s was the additional lodging facility, the Berkley Suites, located adjacent to the Manor. The Suites have been added to the property and were completed in the spring of 2018. The Suites provide additional accommodations to the Berkley property featuring three, two-bedroom suites, guest kitchen, and living area which enables a more all-inclusive experience. Since acquiring the property in 2012, the Berkley has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to many wonderful guests and to this day strives to provide the highest quality service to each and every customer.