House and Gardens
There has been a parsonage here for centuries, but the present house was rebuilt in 1827 by a promising young architect, Thomas Lee, who was responsible for several other West Country houses, including nearby Arlington Court and the Guildhall in Barnstaple.
In the 1950s the eminent architect Trenwith Wills was employed by the then owner Major James Lindsay MP to design a one storey extension; the Regency style ballroom which exists today. In the late 1980s the house underwent a programme of comprehensive restoration, alongside the garden which has attracted widespread admiration.
Juliet’s mother, Jane Keatley began her work here in 1987, with creative input from luminaries such as Carol Klein and Roy Lancaster. She has made it very much a gardener's garden, with rare species, ferns, shrubs and trees all thriving in their spectacular valley setting. It has been open annually for the National Garden Scheme for 15 years and is now open more regularly in the summer.
The walled garden has clipped box hedges and cordoned fruit trees as well as flowers, herbs and vegetables. The mainly herbaceous rose garden leads onto a glorious informal rockery and bog garden, where the River Heddon runs into the three recently renovated ponds.
Behind this detail is a backdrop of mature oaks, beeches and acers, as well as a wide range of magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias. All of these provide colour the year round, starting with hellebores and snowdrops in the winter, then daffodils and bluebells giving way to spring and summer colour, which continues all the way through to the hydrangeas well into the autumn.