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HER Number:MDV16282
Name:A La Ronde, Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth

Summary

Circular stone cottage ornee built in 1798 in the style of the basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. The roof was originally thatched. The tiled roof and dormers were added in the early 20th century.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 004 833
Map Sheet:SY08SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExmouth
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWITHYCOMBE RALEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 448693
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY08SW/79
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COTTAGE ORNEE (Built, XVIII - 1798 AD to 1798 AD)

Full description

Department of Environment, 15/06/1978, Exmouth, 38 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV131898.

A La Ronde. Circular cottage ornee built in imitation of San Vitale, Ravenna in 1798. Central octagon surrounded by 8 interconnecting rooms. Above the octagon is a room decorated in the style of a grotto.


Unknown, 1939, Proceedings of the Seventy-Eighth Annual Meeting Held at Honiton, 15 (Article in Serial). SDV124359.

A La Ronde was home to Rev. O.J. Reichel for 30 years.


Weddell, P. J., 1995, Archaeological Assessment of Proposed DCC Dinan Way Link, Exmouth, 6 (Report - Assessment). SDV349665.

16-sided cottage ornee built in 1798 on behalf of the Misses Parminter. Purchased by the National Trust in 1990.


Gray, T., 1995, The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources, 33 (Monograph). SDV671.


Horner, B., 1996, DAP/AAX, 7-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV320375.


Cotswold Archaeology, 2011, Land at Courtlands Cross, Exmouth, Devon: Assessment of Potential Impacts upon the setting of Designated Heritage Assets and Heritage Impact Assessment, 15-16; figures 2-3, 11-12; Appendix A, 11 (Report - non-specific). SDV351225.

The partial views of the development site from A la Ronde are not considered to have an impact on its essential setting, which is orientated to take in the extensive open views of the estuary. See report for full details.


Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.


English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

A La Ronde, Summer Lane. A circular stone cottage ornee built by the Misses Jane and Mary Parminter. The cottage consists of the central octagon which is thought to have been modelled on the basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. (The Misses Parminter visited Italy and much of Europe between 1784 and 1794). The octagon is surrounded by 8 rooms each connected to the rest through an ante-room. Above the octagon is a gallery the outer wall of which is covered with designs in shells and feathers probably planned as an 18th century domestic echo of the mosaics of San Vitale. This gallery is reached by a tiny staircase with grottos covered with designs in shells and other materials. Other rooms have some interesting craft work by the Misses Parminter including a feather frieze in the drawing room. Originally had thatched roof terminating in an octagonal gallery with bell cupola above. Tiled roof and dormers added early 20th century. Sash windows with diagonal glazing bars and diamond shaped windows to ante rooms. Date listed: 6th December 1949.


Pink, F., 2014-2015, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment (Interpretation). SDV357736.


Mildren, J., 26/05/1982, Byzantine Basilica (Article in Serial). SDV349722.


Jackson-Stops & Staff, July 1990, A La Ronde, Exmouth, Devon (Un-published). SDV349725.


Binney, M., July 1990, Comment, 71 (Article in Serial). SDV349726.


Forum Heritage Services, Oct 2013, A la Ronde, Exmouth, Devon. Conservation Management Plan (Report - non-specific). SDV355819.

A 16-sided stone-built cottage ornee built circa 1798 by cousins, Jane and Mary Parminter. It has a central octagon which is thought to have been modelled on the basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna but it also takes references from other buildings known and visited by the Parminters during their Grand Tour of Europe in the late 18th century. The unusual design of the house is attributed to architect John Lowder, a friend of the family. A la Ronde forms part of a designed landscape that includes Point in View and the Manse to the east, but the original inception of the picturesque landscape has been eroded by the urban sprawl of Exmouth. However, the magnificent setting of A la Ronde with its views over Lower Halsdon Farm the Exe Estuary and the Haldon Hills beyond has helped to minimise this impact. The value of A la Ronde lies in the survival of its historic fabric which still provides a strong and unique identity for the house. The Parminters spent many years creating the highly individual, decorative interiors employing craft skills acceptable for women at that time to create unique confections that include a feather frieze, pictures made from crushed glass, seaweed and painted card and chairs decorated with decoupage. The upper gallery, known as the shell gallery, is decorated in a style reminiscent of the San Vitale in Ravenna and incorporating thousands of shells and life size portraits of birds.
The history of the house since the death of Mary Parminter in 1849 is also considered to be important, particularly the changes adaptations made by Revd. Reichel between 1895 and 1905 in order to make it a residence more befitting of a gentleman. The thatch roof was replaced by tiles, the external gallery was built and the attic converted to provide more rooms and the dormer windows were inserted. The drawing room was enlarged by linking two rooms together, a new staircase was built and new windows made to light the lower ground floor. A central heating system was also installed. On Reichel's death in 1923 the house and grounds were put up for sale by his widow and bought by his niece, Margaret Tudor. She opened parts of the building to the public in 1935. The house first offered to the National Trust in 1935 but was turned down at that time and it was not until 1973 that it was finally conveyed to the National Trust following the death of Stella Tudor, Margaret Tudor's sister.
As well as the history and development of A la Ronde and the significance of the building and its setting the conservation management plan also considers the capacity of the house in terms of visitor numbers, the interpretation of the building to the public, access, parking, maintenance and the reinstatement of historic features.


Mildren, J., Unknown, Echoes of Byzantine Basilica (Article in Serial). SDV358443.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SY08SW19 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV349724.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV124359Article in Serial: Unknown. 1939. Proceedings of the Seventy-Eighth Annual Meeting Held at Honiton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 71. A5 Hardback. 15.
SDV131898List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 15/06/1978. Exmouth. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 38.
SDV320375Aerial Photograph: Horner, B.. 1996. DAP/AAX. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 7-9.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV349665Report - Assessment: Weddell, P. J.. 1995. Archaeological Assessment of Proposed DCC Dinan Way Link, Exmouth. Exeter Archaeology. 95.46. A4 Stapled. 6.
SDV349722Article in Serial: Mildren, J.. 26/05/1982. Byzantine Basilica. Western Morning News. Cutting.
SDV349724Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SY08SW19. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV349725Un-published: Jackson-Stops & Staff. July 1990. A La Ronde, Exmouth, Devon. Sale Particulars. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV349726Article in Serial: Binney, M.. July 1990. Comment. Country Life. Photocopy + Digital. 71.
SDV351225Report - non-specific: Cotswold Archaeology. 2011. Land at Courtlands Cross, Exmouth, Devon: Assessment of Potential Impacts upon the setting of Designated Heritage Assets and Heritage Impact Assessment. Cotswold Archaeology Report. 11103 + 09170. A4 Stapled + Digital. 15-16; figures 2-3, 11-12; Appendix A, 11.
SDV355819Report - non-specific: Forum Heritage Services. Oct 2013. A la Ronde, Exmouth, Devon. Conservation Management Plan. Forum Heritage Services. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.
SDV357736Interpretation: Pink, F.. 2014-2015. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV358443Article in Serial: Mildren, J.. Unknown. Echoes of Byzantine Basilica. Unknown. Cutting + Digital.
SDV671Monograph: 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. 33.

Associated Monuments

MDV32460Related to: A la Ronde Pleasure Grounds, Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth (Park/Garden)
MDV105772Related to: Barn at A La Ronde, Exmouth (Building)
MDV83997Related to: Pearson's Garage, Courtlands Cross, Withycombe Raleigh (Building)
MDV16283Related to: Point In View, Summer Lane, Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6370 - A la Ronde Conservation Management Plan

Date Last Edited:Jun 1 2015 3:28PM