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HER Number:MDV87487
Name:Parkland and Gardens at Bishop's Court, Sowton

Summary

Early 19th century parkland and gardens surrounding Bishop's Court.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 981 919
Map Sheet:SX99SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSowton
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCLYST HONITON
Ecclesiastical ParishFARRINGDON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LANDSCAPE PARK (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

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

'Bishop's Court' is shown, with formal gardens and paths, a lodge to the south-east, a fish pond and boat house to the south, and a pheasantry to the north-west. Map object based on this source.


Gray, T., 1995, The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources, 46-47 (Monograph). SDV671.

The Pleasure Garden was, according to Mrs Price in 1805, in its ‘infant state’ but it did have an avenue of elms which formed an arch.


Devon Gardens Trust, 1999, Bishops Court (Un-published). SDV356149.

Bishop's Court is situated in a well wooded park, on the east bank of the River Clyst. The approach is formed by a beautiful avenue of trees, which, with a lodge at the entrance. When the property was sold in 1833 it had its own pheasantry and aviary, together with a covered summer-house, melon and cucumber beds, fruit trees and an orchard, as well as a rookery of beeches, elms and oaks, mingled with limes and chestnuts.


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

Listed under Supplementary Sites.


Debois Landscape Survey Group, 2007, Bishops Court, Devon. Landscape Survey and Management Plan (Report - non-specific). SDV349911.

Bishop's Court House and grounds comprises some 13 acres of buildings, gardens, woods and parkland which for the purposes of the survey was divided into seven character areas - the avenue, east parkland, west parkand, home covert, ornamental wood, slope and teraces, curtilege of offices/barn, lawns and shrubberies and the lake.
The oldest trees identified were oaks (23, 25, 26) found along the line of an old parish road, which was diverted in 1804, and which are believed to be over 300 years old. Nearer to the house a twin-stemmed Turkey oak (27) appears on an estate plan of 1832. Turkey oaks became popular parkland trees at about this time and it appears that this tree represents a piece of deliberate design by Lord Graves near the house. Closer still to the house, a walnut tree (28) appears to be of similar age while a Cedar Of Lebanon (29) is said to have been planted in 1790. It is shown as a young tree on an early 19th century engraving. The majority of trees in the Ornamental Wood are probably part of the landscaping scheme devised in conjunction with the remodelling of the house and construction of terraces in the 1860s. The 'magnificent' and 'veteran' trees in the 'Rookery' referred to by Swete in 1800, however, were swept away during this remodelling.
Archaeological features identified with the park include a ha-ha, terraces, walkways, ponds, flower and kitchen gardens, a pet grave, tennis court and pheasantry.
The survey identified five significant views from the house, although all are essentially 'borrowed' views ie over land that no longer belongs to the estate. As a small 19th century park, Bishop's Court must be considered unexceptional having suffered loss of coherence through property division and 20th century development. However, the underlying history of the site gives it a significance out of proportion to its current size and condition. The park originally a little under 60 acres in size provided the setting for the medieval Bishop's Palace and continued as a discernible entity down through the centuries. Today almost half of it remains as an intact unit. It provides the context for the present house, a fine example of Victorian Gothic architecture and is given enhanced significance by the remarkable survival of medieval farm buildings. Overall the park is considered to be of some ie local significance and as such it is recommended for inclusion in the Register of Parks and Gardens. See report for further information on the character areas and archaeological features within the park.


Debois Landscape Survey Group, 2007, Bishop's Court, Devon: A Documented History (Report - non-specific). SDV351922.

Historical summary of the development of the house, gardens and park with copies of maps and documents. Includes thematic studies of the roads and approaches, wood and orchards, gardens and pleasure grounds, ponds and watercourses, and parkland and farmland. See report for full details.


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

Supplementary site.


Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Map object based on this source.

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.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV349911Report - non-specific: Debois Landscape Survey Group. 2007. Bishops Court, Devon. Landscape Survey and Management Plan. Debois Landscape Survey Group Report. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.
SDV351922Report - non-specific: Debois Landscape Survey Group. 2007. Bishop's Court, Devon: A Documented History. Debois Landscape Survey Group Report. A4 Comb Bound + 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.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV356149Un-published: Devon Gardens Trust. 1999. Bishops Court. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. 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. 46-47.

Associated Monuments

MDV118089Parent of: Canal to south-west of Sowton (Monument)
MDV118095Parent of: Chilpark Bank, Bishop's Court Park, Sowton (Monument)
MDV36361Parent of: East Lodge, Bishop's Court, Sowton (Building)
MDV117987Parent of: Fish Pond to south of Bishop's Court House, Sowton (Monument)
MDV59850Parent of: Ha-ha at Bishop's Court, Sowton (Monument)
MDV117996Parent of: Kitchen Garden at Bishop's Court, Sowton (Monument)
MDV117790Parent of: Oak Trees at Bishop's Court, Sowton (Monument)
MDV10078Parent of: Stables at Bishop's Court, Sowton (Building)
MDV117995Parent of: Tennis Court at Bishop's Court, Sowton (Monument)
MDV10077Parent of: Tithe Barn at Bishop's Court, Sowton (Building)
MDV118090Related to: Alder Croft Bank, Sowton (Monument)
MDV10076Related to: Bishop's Court, Sowton (Building)
MDV118017Related to: Earthwork 320 metres north-north-west of Bishop's Court House, Sowton (Monument)
MDV118092Related to: Earthwork within Bishop's Court Park, Sowton (Monument)
MDV118018Related to: Pheasantry 400 metres north-north-west of Bishop's Court House, Sowton (Building)
MDV117962Related to: Terraces at Bishop's Court House, Sowton (Monument)
MDV117971Related to: Terraces to north-east of Bishop's Clyst House, Sowton (Monument)
MDV117985Related to: Trackway within Home Covert Wood, Bishop's Court, Sowton (Monument)
MDV117963Related to: Weir and Sluice on Home Covert Leat, Sowton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5959 - Archaeological Survey, Bishops Court, Devon

Date Last Edited:Mar 20 2019 12:47PM