Saturday, 17 August 2013

A visit to Killerton House

On to part 2 of our Devon break with a day at beautiful  Killerton House , built in 1779 as  the country home of the Acland family. The entire estate was given to the National Trust by the last owner, Sir Richard Acland,  a strong believer in public ownership,  so that the nation could enjoy it!

 A very different C19th house  to Knightshayes, but  again, very much a family home. There are more stunning formal gardens and acres of woods and parkland for visitors to enjoy. This is just a snapshot of what's there.

 You could see the blue of those delphiniums so clearly.

 This looks almost like somewhere in the Med!

 Scent and colour everywhere.

 A view across the parkland from one side of the estate,  stretching to the hills beyond

 And one the other side, looking towards Dartmoor. This spot was the favourite view of one of the former Baronets and his friends erected this memorial to him.

 Those deer popped up again!

Hidden in the woodland is a secret rock garden with cascades and pools, next to a secret C18th ice house.

 It's a real surprise,  full of unusual plants.

 This quaint building is the 'Bear Hut'. originally a summer house for the wife of the 10th Baronet, Sir Charles Dyke Acland kept a pet black bear in it, a gift  brought back from Canada by his brother Gilbert in  the 1860s!

 It's amazing inside, there are 3 separate areas floored with cobbles, log sections and deer knuckle bones respectively! Not my preferred choice I must say.

 The ceilings are  also different constructions - basketry,  matting and deerskin!

There is even  a stained glass window - I simply could not imagine a bear being housed in there, but apparently he was well  loved. Those were very different times!

 After  a day in the hot sunshine,  you can  get a bit sleepy, and at Killerton  they have a wonderful idea of letting visitors borrow a picnic blanket to enjoy the weather! My rucksack makes a great pillow as you see!

 I loved this sign attached to each rug!

I spent a happy hour sketching this view of the garden, while himself had a good sleep.

There's a great costume collection at Killerton too, well worth a visit,  the exhibitions change regularly. The new restaurant there was especially scrummy. We had a wonderful Devon cream tea,  sitting on the terrace in the sunshine, it was just like Downton Abbey! I would have taken a photo but was rather too busy nomming the delicious scones!

Hope you enjoyed the trip!x


  1. another breathtaking estate and gardens, Jules. I would love to have that bear's hut here in my woods!

  2. glorious gardens, must own up to being not a big fan of stately houses but love to visit their gardens.

  3. I would love to see the Bear Hut, although like you I find it hard to imagine a bear actually living in it!

  4. Wonderful pictures, what a beautiful place. Looks like a very relaxing day. Delphiniums are one of my favorite flowers - that blue is gorgeous!


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