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HER Number:MDV54845
Name:Oxton House Park and Garden


Park and gardens created late 18th century by John Swete, comprising formal gardens and lawns around the house, with pleasure gardens, parkland, woodland and lakes to north, south and east.


Grid Reference:SX 929 823
Map Sheet:SX98SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishKenton
Civil ParishMamhead
Ecclesiastical ParishKENTON
Ecclesiastical ParishMAMHEAD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX98SW/1/1
  • Old Registered Parks and Gardens Ref (II): 2288

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GARDEN (XVIII - 1701 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon Gardens Trust, 1995, Oxton (Worksheet). SDV342745.

Picturesque garden set in parkland - now on English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest.

English Heritage, 2000, Oxton House (Register of Parks and Gardens in England). SDV338310.

Created in the 1780s when the Reverend John Swete rebuilt the house at Oxton. The 95 hectare site comprises some 2 hectares of formal gardens around the house, and 93 hectares of pleasure grounds, parkland and woodlands with picturesque walks and rides. The park rises to a ridge of high ground to the south-west of the house and there are extensive views north-east from the pleasure grounds, parkland and woodland walks towards the Exe estuary, while from the formal gardens and lawns south of the house there are views south-east over the park. An area of formal gardens lies to the west of the house, with lawns and informal pleasure grounds to the south, east and north. It was established by 1888, and remains a flower garden with a rockery and other ornamental planting. To the south and east of the house level lawns are separated from the park by a grass bank, while to the north of the house a series of serpentine walks lead through wooded pleasue grounds towards the walled garden and Home Farm. To the south of the house, beyond the lawns, the ground falls sharply to a stream which runs from south-west to north-east across the park. This was dammed in the late 18th century to form a series of cascades, weirs and long narrow ponds which flow from a large pool to a small lake to the west of Kenton Lodge. To the south of the stream and pools the land rises to a belt of woodland around the east, south and west sides, and forms the deer park. To the west of the house the kitchen garden, rectangular in plan, is enclosed by walls with the gardener's cottage just outside the north-east corner. A further walled garden is located adjacent to Home Farm. Other details: GD2288.

English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West, 112 (Report - non-specific). SDV342694.

In the mid 19th century the picturesque grounds comprised lawns, parterres, shrubberies, parkland and a lake. In the 20th century the property was firstly a school and then divided into apartments. The pleasure grounds are neglected and much of the park is ploughed up, with considerable loss of parkland planting.

English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West, 105 (Report - non-specific). SDV344777.

English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West, 110 (Report - non-specific). SDV355280.

Generally satisfactory but with significant localised problems. Medium vulnerability. Declining.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV338310Register of Parks and Gardens in England: English Heritage. 2000. Oxton House. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. A4 Unbound.
SDV342694Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2009. Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West. English Heritage Report. A4 Bound +Digital. 112.
SDV342745Worksheet: Devon Gardens Trust. 1995. Oxton. Devon County Sites and Monuments Register. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.
SDV344777Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2010. Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West. English Heritage Report. Digital. 105.
SDV355280Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West. english Heritage. Digital. 110.

Associated Monuments

MDV72984Related to: Mamhead Cottage formerly The Cottage and Maraylya (Building)
MDV10051Related to: Oxton House (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 30 2014 11:53AM