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HER Number:MDV16855
Name:Endsleigh House, Milton Abbot


Former residence of the Dukes of Bedford, known as Endsleigh Cottage. Designed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville in 1810. Built on the site of a farm called Inglesley. Now a hotel. Stands in picturesque landscaped gardens designed by Humphry Repton.


Grid Reference:SX 391 786
Map Sheet:SX37NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishMilton Abbot
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMILTON ABBOT

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX37NE/514
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 92457

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (XIX - 1810 AD to 1810 AD)

Full description

CHANNON, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV263371.

Endsleigh cottage. Built on the site of a farm called inglesley said to have been a hunting seat of the abbots of tavistock. The present house was begun in 1810 (channon).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV263375.

Channon, e. /tda/69(1937)17-18/proceedings at the 76th annual meeting.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV263376.

Doe/hhr:tavistock rd/(1960)18.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV263377.

Doe/hhr:milton abbot/(7/11/1985)123-4.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV263378.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV263379.

Cherry, b. + pevsner, n. /buildings of england:devon/(1989)352-5;plan;illus.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV263380.

Hoskins, w. G. /devon/(1946).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV263381.

Gover, j. E. B. + mawer, a. + stenton, f. M. /the place-names of devon/(1931).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV263382.

Dyer, m. J. + manning, p. T. /objective 5b: lower tamar valley recreation and land management initiative: cultural heritage appraisal/(1998)22/(ea report 98.60).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV263383.

Gray, t. /the garden history of devon/(1995).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV263384.

Hhr:register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in england(devon)/(august 2003).

Dyer, M. + Manning, P., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV27135.

First recorded as innesleigh in 1378. Endsleigh cottage designed by wyatt in 1810 for 6th duke of bedford on site chosen by duchess georgiana (dyer + manning).

Department of Environment, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV327230.

Vis=unknown (doe) large irregular cottage of two storeys, plastered walls and slate roofs. Setting more important than the house (doe).

Rose, G., 1992, Down by the Riverside (Article in Serial). SDV361558.

In 1811 the sixth Duke of Bedford commissioned Jeffrey Wyatville and Humphrey Repton to design and build a fishing lodge in Devon, complete with romantic gardens. At Milton Abbot, near Tavistock, Endsleigh is protected from the north by the brow of a hill, and faces south over one of the prettiest stretches of the Tamar River.
The lodge was designed to look like a cottage, whilst large enough to accommodate the Duke's guests. 70 acres of grounds.

When the Duke died in 1953, the land either four and a half miles either side of the river was sold to a syndicate of anglers. In 1962 the anglers bought the lodge to use as a club house. It was converted into a country house hotel later.

Endsleigh is linked to a smaller "Children's Cottage" by an open-sided rustic veranda on the south side. Floored with pebbles and sheep's knuckle bones, the veranda overlooks a small terrace garden with box-edged flower beds and water channel.

To the east of the house Repton cut steps into the hillside to make a grand 200 yard terraced lawn.
The great terrace leads to a shell lined grotto which overlooks a fine sweep of the Tamar River Its windows include amber panes; others are leaded to give an impression of cobwebs.

Extensive area of steeply sloping riverbank, planted as an arboretum between 1810 and 1860. Trees include: 100ft Indian Horse Chestnut, Golden Himalayan Cedar, Prickly Castor Oil Tree and Lobb's Japanese Cedar. 135ft Montezuma Pine and 165ft Nordman Fir.

The Tavistock and District Local History Society, 1994, About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks, 45 (Monograph). SDV354806.

Hesp, M., 2003, Country Jewel Should be Visited by Everyone (Article in Serial). SDV346985.

Lovie, J., 2009, Arlington Court, Devon: Conservation Statement Prepared by Johnathan Lovie for the National Trust, 43 (Report - non-specific). SDV352139.

English Heritage, 2011, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV346128.

Endsleigh House including terrace wall to the south east and wall to the north east.
Formerly the residence of the Dukes of Bedford and known as Endsleigh Cottage, now in use as an hotel. Designed in 1810 by Sir Jeffry Wyatville for the 6th Duke of Bedford. Stone rubble with stucco blocked out with a variety of rustication, slate roofs, rendered diagonally-set chimney shafts, stone dressings. Described as "the outstanding and probably most nearly perfect surviving instance of a romantic cottage orne, devised for an aristocratic owner under the influence of the taste for the Picturesque" (Hussey). Crescent-shaped plan forming a semi-circular courtyard entrance with the garden elevation commanding extensive views across the Tamar and landscaped gardens by Humphry Repton. The garden elevation consists of 2 blocks linked by a curved terrace and colonnade. The east block contains the principal rooms with service rooms to the north. The colonnade links the east block to a smaller cottage at the west which was designed as a separate house for the children with a raised garden between the blocks. 2 and 3 storeys. The garden front of the principal block consists of a "triple-faceted nucleus" (Hussey). The east facing elevation is 3-storey with a shaped coped gable with a window with moulded stone mullions and a high transom with a stone parapet above with panels of ornamental iron work. Above this a 3-light timber mullioned window with high transom has a square-headed hoodmould. 2-light casement in the gable. The south west facing elevation, overlooking the raised garden has a battlemented parapet with segmental merlons. 2 ground floor stone mullioned and transomed canted bay windows share a common pent roof. The first floor has a statue niche containing a statue of the first Abbot of
Tavistock Abbey. A projecting stack at the right end of this elevation has recessed panels of armorial bearings. The south elevation is picturesquely irregular with an asymmetrical front gable with decorative bargeboards and a rustic verandah to the right. 2 stone mullioned transomed ground floor windows, 1 a canted bay. The rustic verandah floored with knucklebones has a decorative timber eaves board and a recess for a rustic seat. 1 first floor oriel has timber mullions and transoms, 3 first floor half-dormers and 2 full dormers. The childrens block to the west is more regular and T-plan with a roof gabled at ends and half-hipped to a central wing. The eaves have decorated boards and a fine timber lattice verandah of a Regency character overlooks the raised garden which originally had a parterre with a central fountain which was designed by Repton and was a very early revival of a formal garden. A rustic verandah is in the right angle between the central wing and the north end. Renovations underway at time of survey (1985). The colonnade linking the west and east blocks has a scantle slate roof and stone piers replacing the original rough tree trunks. The entrance front has a semi-circular curve and a central stone portico with battered rectangular piers with moulded capitals below an entablature with a depressed pyramidal roof.
Interior The 1810 interior is largely intact. The panelled entrance hall has a large stone fireplace with internal Gothick inglenooks with corbel seats and a timber lintel with blind tracery. The dining room has a grained wainscot below trompe Cloeil painting of blind Gothick tracery and numerous armorial bearings. The library is panelled with a contemporary marble chimney and double doors lead into the adjoining study which has a contemporary chimney piece and joinery. The contemporary stair has elaborate Gothick balusters alternating with stick balusters. The original heating system of hot air vents in marble panels survives in several rooms.
Hussey suggest that the Duchess of Bedford was the driving force behind the creation of Endsleigh. A plaque in the stables (qv) states that she chose the site. The house took 6 years to complete and the final account, dated 1816, of payment to "Sundry Artificers" shows that Wyatville was paid £1,526.4s ll½d out of a total of £4,046.13s 1d. Full documentation of the building of the house including
correspondence from Wyatville and Repton and monthly progress reports and accounts exists in the Bedford Estate Papers in the Devon Record Office.,

Marlow, P. O., 2013, Cobbles in Devon, 55, Fig. 12 (Article in Serial). SDV358513.

Endsleigh Cottage retains many areas of patterned cobbling which contribute to its picturesque setting. It is noted that the cobbling in the stable yard is functional in design compared to the more exotic designs at the Swiss Cottage and Shell House. Sheep's knuckle bones are used in one area rather than stones.
Endsleigh was designed for the 6th Duke of Bedford by Sir Jeffry Wyatville in 1810. The gardens are by Humphry Repton.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV263371Migrated Record: CHANNON.
SDV263375Migrated Record:
SDV263376Migrated Record:
SDV263377Migrated Record:
SDV263378Migrated Record:
SDV263379Migrated Record:
SDV263380Migrated Record:
SDV263381Migrated Record:
SDV263382Migrated Record:
SDV263383Migrated Record:
SDV263384Migrated Record:
SDV27135Migrated Record: Dyer, M. + Manning, P..
SDV327230Report - Survey: Department of Environment.
SDV346128List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2011. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV346985Article in Serial: Hesp, M.. 2003. Country Jewel Should be Visited by Everyone. Western Morning News. A3 Single Sheet.
SDV352139Report - non-specific: Lovie, J.. 2009. Arlington Court, Devon: Conservation Statement Prepared by Johnathan Lovie for the National Trust. National Trust Report. Digital. 43.
SDV354806Monograph: The Tavistock and District Local History Society. 1994. About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks. About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks. A5 Paperback. 45.
SDV358513Article in Serial: Marlow, P. O.. 2013. Cobbles in Devon. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. A4 Stapled + Digital. 55, Fig. 12.
SDV361558Article in Serial: Rose, G.. 1992. Down by the Riverside. The Sunday Times Magazine. Photocopy + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV32464Related to: Endsleigh Park, Milton Abbot (Monument)
MDV32108Related to: Stables at Endsleigh House, Milton Abbot (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jul 31 2019 2:59PM