HeritageGateway - Home

Login  |  Register
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV49340
Name:Poltimore House Gardens

Summary

There were formal gardens on the north side of the house by at least the early 18th century. The gardens were altered in the 18th century and again in the 19th century, in the 1830s and 1870s. In the early 20th century aviaries built alongside the banks of the former ornamental canal and a Chinese water garden was created to the south of the main formal gardens.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 964 966
Map Sheet:SX99NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishPoltimore
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPOLTIMORE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX99NE/9/7

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FORMAL GARDEN (Created, XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Formal gardens depicted to the northwest of Poltimore House with wooded pathways, a lined avenue, a walled kitchen garden with glasshouses and a rosary.


Unknown, 1921, Untitled Source (Pamphlet). SDV321960.

Pleasure grounds of Poltimore House. Sale catalogue (1921) refers to about 34 acres of pleasure grounds, containing two lime avenues, rare trees and shrubs, tennis, croquet and other lawns, flower beds and herbaceous borders. Also a walled kitchen garden of nearly seven acres containing greenhouse, plant house, span forcing pits, vinery, peach-house, mushroom house, potato shed, open shed, fruit room, stores, seed room, potting shed, tools sheds and stone built and slated messroom and stable.


Pugsley, S, 1994, Devon Gardens, 6,92,94,125-9 (Monograph). SDV672.


Gray, T., 1995, The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources, 179-80 (Monograph). SDV671.

Swete visited Poltimore in 1800 and wrote that 'the grounds or Park, which lies in front [of the house] extended into unvarying flat, having few, if any circumstances of local or adventitious beauty to recommend it'. White (1850) noted a beautiful park. The parkland and a lodge survive as does the 19th century stables. See entry for further details.


Devon Gardens Trust, 1999, Devon Local Register, 113 (Un-published). SDV170167.


Salvatore, J. P., 1999, Poltimore (Personal Comment). SDV135226.

Site visit 15th April 1999. Elements of formal gardens attached to the house, and the ponds and weirs of a former Chinese garden to south were noted in close proximity to the house.


Clark, J. + Richardson, D., 1999, Poltimore House (Un-published). SDV357690.

The parkland to the north of the house is dominated by avenues of lime and poplar, a pinetum and many specimen trees.


Land Use Consultants + Lambert, D., 2001, Poltimore House: historical landscape survey (Report - Survey). SDV321966.

Walled gardens established in the mid 19th century. There is a lime avenue leading to church and another running northwest to southeast. A rectangular formal garden is shown to the west of the church on the Ordnance Survey 1891 1st Edition map and a circular rosary to the northwest of the house.


Poltimore House Trust + Friends of Poltimore House, 2004, The Poltimore Arboretum (Un-published). SDV357711.

The Poltimore gardens and woodlands cover about 30 acres, of which 13, including the land on which the House is built, now belong to Poltimore House Trust. The area surrounding the house is depicted in late 17th and early 18th century drawings as formal gardens with topiary and statuary. The two avenues of limes (one was felled in 1956 and replaced with poplars) date from about 1710, planted to mark the accession of George I. But the first attempt at landscaping was in 1840, when George Bampfylde, first Baron Poltimore, commissioned James Veitch, son of John Veitch (the famous landscape gardener), to plant woodlands on the rising ground behind the mansion. Details of trees follow.


Cunningham, P., 2012, Poltimore Community and Landscapes Project. Testing the Lawn: The Results from a Test Pit Excavation, Poltimore House, Devon (Report - Excavation). SDV361006.

Test pit excavation undertaken by volunteers as part of the Poltimore Community and Landscapes Project. The test pit was located in an area of high resistence identified by a resistivity survey on the lawn to the northeast of the house. No clearly definable features were present in the pit; the contrast between loose and compacted soil being most likely responsible for the anomalies recorded in the resistivity survey. There were, however, a surprisingly large number of finds (273 pieces). Pottery comprised almost 50 per cent of the assemblage of which the majority were unglazed earthenware sherds, most likely from garden vessels locally made in south Somerset. Other finds included glass, clay pipe, slate, brick and metal.


Devon Gardens Trust, 2013, Devon Gazetteer of Parks and Gardens of Local Interest (Reg/Local list of Historic Parks and Gdns). SDV354335.


Creighton, O. + Cunningham, P. + French, H., 2013, Peopling Polite Landscapes. Community and Heritage at Poltimore, Devon (Article in Serial). SDV361004.

There were formal gardens on the north side of Poltimore House by at least the early 18th century, as depicted on a drawing by Edmund Prideaux, circa 1716 which shows a canal flanked by rows of trees. A new south front was added to the house in the early 18th century giving the house a full courtyard plan with the result that the house changed orientation, to face south rather than north. The landscape around the house was altered to reflect this, again shown in drawings by Prideaux circa 1727. The canal on the north side of the house was filled in and a walled garden with serpentine paths, statues and formal trees was laid out. A lime avenue, described as new in 1714, linked the house to the church in Poltimore village.
The estate underwent a major transformation in the 1830s, following the enoblement of the Bampfylde family in 1831 and the creation of the first Baron Poltimore. The stables and garden complex to the northeast of the house were abandoned and a new stable block built to the northwest accessible from the village by a newly built track and road. The road also enabled access to a new walled garden with a heated greenhouse. The intention seems to have been to create vistas of rolling parkland, removing the working parts of the estate from view of the house.
The gardens to the north and west of the house were modified in the late 19th century with the creation of lawns and paths, a rose garden, obelisk and a viewing platform.
In the early 20th century a Chinese water garden was created and aviaries built alongside the banks of the former ornamental canal.


Clark, J. + Richardson, D., 2013, Poltimore House (Un-published). SDV357691.

The parkland and a lodge survive as does the 19th century stables and gateposts have huge balls on slender pillars, dated 1681, repositioned near the main road; another pair can be seen north of the village. North of the house, the parkland is dominated by Lime and Poplar avenues, a pinetum and many specimen trees. An obelisk lies in pieces, never having been erected. The Poltimore gardens and woodlands cover about 30 acres, of which 13, including the land on which the House is built, now belong to Poltimore House Trust. Poltimore was recorded as a Deer Park in 1575, and the area surrounding the House is depicted in late 17th and early 18th century drawings as formal gardens with topiary and statuary. The two avenues of limes (one was felled in 1956 and replaced with poplars) date from about 1710, planted to mark the accession of George I. In 1840, George Bampfylde, 1st Baron Poltimore, commissioned James Veitch, son of John Veitch to plant woodlands on the rising ground behind the mansion.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Personal Comment: Salvatore, J. P.. 1999. Poltimore.
  • Un-published: Devon Gardens Trust. 1999. Devon Local Register. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. A4 Stapled + Digital. 113.
  • Pamphlet: Unknown. 1921. Poltimore Park Estate: sale catalogue.
  • Report - Survey: Land Use Consultants + Lambert, D.. 2001. Poltimore House: historical landscape survey. Garden History Society Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #116341 ]
  • Reg/Local list of Historic Parks and Gdns: Devon Gardens Trust. 2013. Devon Gazetteer of Parks and Gardens of Local Interest. Historic Parks and Gardens - Register and Local List. Digital.
  • Un-published: Clark, J. + Richardson, D.. 1999. Poltimore House. Devon Register Review. A4 Stapled + Digital.
  • Un-published: Clark, J. + Richardson, D.. 2013. Poltimore House. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. Digital.
  • Un-published: Poltimore House Trust + Friends of Poltimore House. 2004. The Poltimore Arboretum. Digital.
  • Article in Serial: Creighton, O. + Cunningham, P. + French, H.. 2013. Peopling Polite Landscapes. Community and Heritage at Poltimore, Devon. Landscape History. 33. Digital.
  • Report - Excavation: Cunningham, P.. 2012. Poltimore Community and Landscapes Project. Testing the Lawn: The Results from a Test Pit Excavation, Poltimore House, Devon. University of Exeter. Digital.
  • Monograph: Gray, T.. 1995. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. Paperback Volume. 179-80.
  • Monograph: Pugsley, S. 1994. Devon Gardens. Devon Gardens. Unknown. 6,92,94,125-9.

Associated Monuments

MDV125143Related to: Chinese Water Garden in Poltimore Park (Monument)
MDV19787Related to: Poltimore Deer park (Monument)
MDV10156Related to: Poltimore House (Building)
MDV49339Related to: Stables at Poltimore House now Poltimore Gardens (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1678 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV1679 - Poltimore House: historical landscape survey
  • EDV8045 - Test Pit Excavation at Poltimore House

Date Last Edited:Feb 14 2019 12:47PM