HeritageGateway - Home
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:MDV51256
Name:Garden at Combe Royal, Churchstow


Extensive Victorian garden to the south-west of Combe Royal house, which includes the rare survival of a citrus wall.


Grid Reference:SX 731 455
Map Sheet:SX74NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishChurchstow
Civil ParishKingsbridge
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishWEST ALVINGTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX74NW/11/2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GARDEN (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, Reports of the Fruit Committee (Article in Serial). SDV348020.

One Seville Orange tree is known to be more than 200 years old.

Unknown, 187, Coombe Royal, 162-3 (Article in Serial). SDV360715.

Article includes engravings showing the approach to the house and the citrus wall, the cultivation of citrus fruit being a particular feature of Combe Royal.

Robinson, W., 1873, Garden Vegetation in South Devon (Article in Serial). SDV356202.

Article concerning a collection received by the author, of fresh specimens of plants and fruits from the garden at Combe Royal.

Jackson, R, J., 1904, Coombe Royal, 1-3 (Article in Serial). SDV360712.

Ordnance Survey, 1907, 132SW (Cartographic). SDV336904.

'Combe Royal on Site of Barton' shown on early 20th century map with extensive grounds to the southeast.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 898 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Anon, 1993, Combe Royal (Article in Serial). SDV336902.

Fine collection of shrubs & trees described in 1871.

Pugsley, S, 1994, Devon Gardens, 138 (Monograph). SDV672.

Described as a notable garden, although little remains of the Victorian layout around the house. The lower garden is planted largely with giant rhododendron. The garden featured in the Journal of Horticulture in 1871.

Gray, T., 1995, The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources, 78-9 (Monograph). SDV671.

Clark, J. + Richardson, D., 1999, Coombe Royal (Un-published). SDV357661.

Combe Royal is a Victorian house with notable garden in a deep Devon combe. Lower garden still exists and is open to the public but little remains of elaborate Victorian layout around the house. 1906 and 1907 maps show extensive woodland. Garden featured in journal of horticulture in 1871 with description of its orangery. The garden is renowned for the early study of citrus fruit.

Devon Gardens Trust, 1999, Devon Local Register, 35 (Un-published). SDV170167.

Clark, J., 2000, Combe Royal (Near Kingsbridge) - The Citrus Wall Revealed (Article in Serial). SDV351729.

A Victorian house with a 'notable' garden including a citrus wall.

Horner, W., 2007, Citrus Wall at Combe Royal, Kingsbridge (Un-published). SDV351730.

Site visit on 22nd October 2007. The walled garden on the north-west side of the house is badly overgrown.

Batty, S., 2009, 'A Valley of Delight'. An Introduction to the Garden at Lower Coombe Royal, 12-13 (Article in Serial). SDV347387.

Major improvements were undertaken in the garden by the Luscombes during the 19th century. A smaller house, now known as Lower Coombe Royal was built in the early 190ss in the valley below Combe Royal. In 1912 the estate was divided and sold. The citrus wall remained with the main house but the larger part of the garden, comprising some 8 acres went with Lower Coombe Royal. Both houses have had a chequered history and over recent decades neither garden has received the love and attention they deserve. Combe Royal is now owned by Devon Social Services. The current owners of Lower Combe Royal have embarked on a restoration project of the house and garden.

Clark, J. + Richardson, D., 2013, Combe Royal (Un-published). SDV356200.

A notable garden in a deep Devon combe, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The lower garden, which was largely planted with giant rhododendrons, still exists, but little remains of the elaborate Victorian layout around the house. The 1906 and 1907 OS show extensive woodland with a series of walks south east of Coombe Royal and a long drive from the lodge above Lower Combe Royal. The garden was featured in the Journal of Horticulture in 1871, when its orangery was described as growing varieties of orange, lemons, limes and shaddocks, unprotected except for reed mats in severe weather. This ‘orangery’ is actually a large free standing south facing wall with an arcade of chamfered 4-centred arches of dressed slate; inside the arches there are alternative courses of red brick stretchers and brick-on-edge. At the west end there is a blind ninth bay. This listed wall has survived, although it is now bare of plants. It is, as far as is known, the only one surviving in Britain, though there may have been one similar in Barnstaple. By 1999 the woodland walks were overgrown and the citrus wall was buried under brambles and undergrowth, however since the property was sold in 2010 large areas of undergrowth have been removed from both sides of the valley, revealing the Citrus Wall, and the new owner’s intention is to restore the wall in its original garden setting.

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

Unknown, Unknown, Garden at Combe Royal (Ground Photograph). SDV356203.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV170167Un-published: Devon Gardens Trust. 1999. Devon Local Register. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. A4 Stapled + Digital. 35.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 898.
SDV336902Article in Serial: Anon. 1993. Combe Royal. Kingsbridge History Society Recorder. 9. Unknown.
SDV336904Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1907. 132SW. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV347387Article in Serial: Batty, S.. 2009. 'A Valley of Delight'. An Introduction to the Garden at Lower Coombe Royal. The Devon Gardens Trust Journal. 2. A4 Paperback + Digital. 12-13.
SDV348020Article in Serial: Unknown. Reports of the Fruit Committee.
SDV351729Article in Serial: Clark, J.. 2000. Combe Royal (Near Kingsbridge) - The Citrus Wall Revealed. Devon Gardens Trust - Newsletter. 40. A4 Unbound + Digital.
SDV351730Un-published: Horner, W.. 2007. Citrus Wall at Combe Royal, Kingsbridge. Digital.
SDV354335Reg/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.
SDV356200Un-published: Clark, J. + Richardson, D.. 2013. Combe Royal. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. Digital.
SDV356202Article in Serial: Robinson, W.. 1873. Garden Vegetation in South Devon. The Garden: An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Gardening in all its Branches. II. Digital.
SDV356203Ground Photograph: Unknown. Unknown. Garden at Combe Royal. Digital.
SDV357661Un-published: Clark, J. + Richardson, D.. 1999. Coombe Royal. Devon Register Review. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV360712Article in Serial: Jackson, R, J.. 1904. Coombe Royal. The Gardeners' Chronicle. XXXV. Photocopy + Digital. 1-3.
SDV360715Article in Serial: Unknown. 187. Coombe Royal. Journal of Horticulture and Cottage Gardener. Unknown. Photocopy + Digital. 162-3.
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. 78-9.
SDV672Monograph: Pugsley, S. 1994. Devon Gardens. Devon Gardens. Unknown. 138.

Associated Monuments

MDV51255Parent of: Citrus Wall at Combe Royal, Churchstow (Building)
MDV127440Parent of: Pathway west of Lower Coombe Royal, Churchstow (Monument)
MDV127434Parent of: Tree enclosure ring southeast of Combe Royal Farm, Churchstow (Monument)
MDV7084Related to: Combe Royal House, Churchstow (Building)
MDV78444Related to: Lower Combe Royal, Churchstow (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 5 2020 11:30AM