In 1848 Vomero became the first home in Torquay of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806 – 1859). The famous engineer and his wife Mary stayed at Vomero whilst making arrangements for his estate, Brunel Manor at Watcombe, Torquay.
On 22 September 2009 a Blue Plaque was installed by the Torbay Civic Society to celebrate Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his family living at Vomero from July 12th to November 22nd 1848. The plaque can be found on the main driveway wall of Vomero.
Torbay Civic Society was established in 1976 and responsible for erecting and citing Blue Plaques in the area. The plaques traditionally commemorate a place where a famous person once lived or worked in Torbay.
The Society was set up to promote and stimulate public consciousness and appreciation of the beauty, history and character of Torbay and it’s surroundings. The Society also produces a glossy pamphlet for every plaque, providing information about the history of the person or place featured. The Vomero pamphlet was written by Professor Geoffrey Tudor an authority on Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
A garden party and open house event was held at Vomero to celebrate the unveiling of The Blue Plaque. The plaque was unveiled by Cllr Martyn Hodge (Chairman of the Council) also present were Mrs Hodge, Professor Geoffrey Tudor, Mr Ian Handford Chairman of Torbay Civic society, John and Angela Bunce current owners of Vomero, invited guests and members of Torbay Civic Society.