Click here to view future visits

18 April 2018Castle Hill Gardens, Devon
11 April 2017Cothay Manor
29 November 2016The American Museum near Bath
21 September 2016Farrs - the home of John and Jennie Makepeace
15 June 2016Farrs - the home of John and Jennie Makepeace
17 May 2016Rosemoor and Hartland Abbey
15 September 2015 Trip to Bath and Corsham Court
14 October 2014Visit to Wells Cathedral and Bishops Palace
13 May 2014Visit to Sherborne and Minterne House and Garden, Dorset
15 October 2013Visit to Tetbury and Highgrove Gardens, Gloucestershire
19 April 2013Visit to Hestercombe Gardens and Cothelstone Manor, Somerset (see Gallery for photos!)
17 October 2012Arundells, Salisbury (See Gallery for Photos)
25 April 2012Longleat House
14 September 2011Lacock Abbey and Corsham Court, Wiltshire.
13 April 2011Antony House and Port Eliot, Cornwall
22 October 2010Stourhead, Wiltshire

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Castle Hill Gardens, Devon
Wednesday 18 April 2018

Castle Hill is the home of the Earl and Countess of Arran, who are the fifteenth generation of the Fortescue family to live in this, the grandest Palladian house in North Devon, surrounded by tranquil  and important gardens and parkland.  It is hoped that Lady Arran will be one of our guides.

The cream-fronted Palladian style house was originally built between 1730 and 1740 but was destroyed by a major fire in 1935 so the interiors are largely reconstructions of the original. Hugh Fortescue, later Baron Fortescue consulted Lord Burlington and Lord Herbert on the designs for the house in the late 1720s but may have been his own architect. The architect for the recnstruction of the house was Lord Gerald Wellesley.

The house is splendidly furnished with eighteenth and nineteenth century furniture and paintings; several of which reflect the family’s love of horses and the chase.  It is not normally open to the public.

The 50 acre garden and historic parkland should be full of spring flowers at the time of our visit. Formal gardens frame the house, and not far away is the extensive walled garden. We shall be able  to stroll along paths through the woodland garden whilst admiring a host of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias.  The more energetic can stroll to see the variety of temples, follies and statues in the grounds, or walk to the sham castle from where you can enjoy magnificent views of Exmoor, Dartmoor and beyond.

The coach will leave the Manor Road car park at 9.00am; you may prefer to join the coach at the Triangle a minute later or at Drakes Avenue, Sidford  about five minutes later. Please indicate your choice below. We expect to be back in Sidmouth about 5.00pm

Morning coffee on arrival and a light buffet lunch will be provided.

The price for this visit is £30 (not normally refundable), which covers the cost of coach, gratuities, refreshments and entrance fees.

If you would like to come on this trip please complete the form, which can be found on the docs/forms page here and return it at a meeting or send it to Jeremy Pearson, Visits Secretary, 3, Carlton Mansions, The Esplanade, Sidmouth, EX 10 8BE  01395 514793