Visit to Houses in Devon & Cornwall

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May 2002

Saturday dawned bright and clear as members gathered at Castle Drogo, to join the coach for the first day of the interesting visit programme led by Gavin Chappell, Jane Williamson and Graham Leech.

The first stop was Little Court [1910], at Tavistock where the group was introduced to the charming owners who told us about the history of the house and allowed us access to all parts of the house and garden. Plans of the original house were on display. The Pimple (1914], built for the Duke of Bedford, marked the entrance to the water company’s surplus reservoir on top of the hill at the rear of Little Court, where one could enjoy magnificent views of the Devon countryside.

The next stop was Endsleigh House built in 1811 for the 6th Duke of Bedford by Jeffery Wyattville, with grounds landscaped by Humphrey Repton. The house built in the Cotta9e Orne style was in marked contrast to Lutyens’s work, he called it “a conglomeration in the style Mary Anne”.

The village of Milton Abbot close by contains two terraces of cottages, a shop and the public conveniences, all designed by Lutyens for the 7th Duke. A tour was made of these buildings which included the interior of one cottage. Dinner that evening followed an interesting private tour of Castle Drogo.

Sunday started with a memorable visit to Mothecombe House [1923 addition], the home of Mr & Mrs Mildmay-White, who warmly welcomed the members, and following a very informative introduction and coffee, kindly gave access to all parts of the house and grounds. The dining room by Lutyens was a wonderful addition to a most attractive house.

After lunch a visit was made to Penheale Manor [1920 additions and cottages]. Fortunately in fine weather, members were able to walk around the outside of the house to see the Lutyens wing and the gardens. This enjoyable tour ended back at Castle Drogo with a vote of thanks to Gavin.