Hartland Abbey & Gardens Barnstaple
Hartland
Nr Bideford
North Devon EX39 6DT 
 
 
Hartland Abbey & Gardens is hidden away in a narrow wooded valley on the Hartland Peninsula. Just two miles (3.5 km) from Stoke Village and within sight of the Church of St Nectan, the property is still the home of the Stucley family, braches of which have lived here continuously for over 400 years.
 
The house was originally a medieval monastery which was later renovated in Queen Anne and Georgian times. It also has some fine work by the great Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott.
 
A visit to this house and grounds is like being invited into a private home. After being shown around the house and seen many of the family’s treasures, we are then encouraged to explore the walled gardens, to walk through the woods and valley to the gazebo for stunning views of the coast.
 
Bluebells & Daffodils
Hartland Abbey is famous for its Bluebell and Daffodil Weekends, details of which can be found on their website.
 
Peacocks and Guinea Foul, Donkeys and Welsh Mountain Sheep
Peacocks and Guinea Fowl strut around the gardens, donkeys and, Black Welsh Mountain sheep in the Old Deer Park come to be patted, and the local Ladies Committee of St Nectan’s Church serve delicious light lunches cream teas in the Old Kitchens.
 
BBC TV Series - Sense & Sensibility
In 2007 the Hartland Abbey Estate was used to film the BBCs production of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. The cottage used as Barton Cottage in the production is available for holiday letting. Go to the Abbey website for more information.
 
History
The Abbey was built in 1160 as a monastery to house an Order of Augustinian Cannons established to serve St Nectan’s Church. The Lord of the Manor, Lord Dynham funded the monastery.
 
In 1539 the monastery was dissolved and King Henry VIII gave it to the Sergeant of his Wine Cellar, William Abbott. In 1600, the heiress Catherine Abbot married Nicholas Luttrell of Dunster Castle in Somerset and the Abbey stayed in that family for 100 years.
 
Thus began the continuity of ownership, the property being part of marriage settlements throughout the centuries.
 
In 1704 the second heiress, Mary Luttrell married local man, Paul Orchard, son of Charles Orchard of Aldercombe, Kilkhampton. Up until now the medieval monastery had not changed; it still had its Great Hall, Chapel and cloisters and covered a substantial area.
 
The new owner made some changes to the building, reducing it to the size we see today. He turned the cloisters into servants’ quarters. The renovations were constructed on the medieval foundations and basement, and to the west some of the medieval house still remains.
 
The Orchard’s son demolished the Great Hall and the Chapel. On the east side he demolished the building to the level of the cloisters. A new floor was built containing three large reception rooms and bedrooms. The project was completed in 1779 giving the current building an overall exterior style of Queen Anne and Georgian.
 
Some further alterations were made in Victorian times. Sir George Stucley was the great-grandson of the third heiress, Anne Orchard. He moved into the house in 1845 and a new front hall and entrance were added.
 
Much of the interior decoration bears the distinctive hallmarks of Gilbert Scott. Portraits of successive generations of the family line the walls of the house and there is a wonderful display of ancient documents associated with the family.
 
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:    External Link
 
Opening Times & Admission Costs 
Open from Easter - October: Sunday to Thursday (Closed: Friday & Saturday)
Gardens, Grounds, Beach Walk & Tearoom: 11:30 – 17:00 hours.
House: 14:00 – 17:00 hours, last admission 16:30 hours.
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone  +44 (0)1237 441 496
Website  Hartland Abbey    External Link
 
Getting There
- By Car from London:  From the M25 London Ring Road, exit at Junction 4B onto M4 to Bristol and South Wales. At Junction 20, take M5 south past Weston-Super-Mare, Bridgewater and Taunton to Junction 27.
 
Exit at Junction 27 westward on the A361 to Barnstaple. At Barnstaple take the A39 south through Northam to Clovelly then taking the B3248 to Stoke and Hartland Abbey.
 
- By Car from Ilfracombe area:   We suggest you avoid Barnstaple town centre by turning right at the traffic signals just before Barnstaple (signposted Taunton, Exeter M5), and take the new bridge.
 
Continue until you join the A39 and head west past Bideford, towards Clovelly. Just past Clovelly Village, take the B3248 towards Stoke and Hartland Abbey & Gardens.
 
- For walkers
Enjoy the scenery of the South-West Coastal Path: why not make a visit to the Abbey part of your journey.
 
Google Maps - Hartland Abbey & Gardens