A walled garden created around the ruins of a 16th-century vicarage; a rugged stone structure of snaking paths and overgrown walls; a wildflower meadow that merges seamlessly into the moorland scenery beyond; a from-gold-to-russet acer glade; a ‘magic’ stone circle on a grassy knoll; and, everywhere, skilful and inspirational planting – The Garden House has it all. At its heart is the 2-acre (0.8ha) walled garden created in 1947 by Lionel Fortescue, Eton schoolmaster and avid plant collector who lived at The Garden House with his wife Katharine from the 1940s until his death in 1981. The four terraces in the walled garden are linked by narrow flights of steps and ramps made with local stone. Seeds scatter and are allowed to thrive as they would in the wild, and the impression is delightful. As well as the walled garden, there is a summer garden; a nostalgic cottage garden; a quarry garden, and a ‘magic circle’ of fallen stones encircling a quartet of irregular-sized monoliths on a grassy knoll. Photo credit: John Richmond.
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Parking onsite
- Facilities: Parking available in centre of the garden for less mobile visitors
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Open 3 Mar-28 Oct, daily 10.30-5; Feb weekends 11-3
Also in the area
About the area
With magnificent coastlines, two historic cities and the world-famous Dartmoor National Park, Devon sums up all that is best about the British landscape. For centuries it has been a fashionable and much loved holiday destination – especially south Devon’s glorious English Riviera.
Close to the English Riviera lies Dartmoor, one of the south-west’s most spectacular landscapes. The National Park, which contains Dartmoor, covers 365 square miles and includes many fascinating geological features – isolated granite tors and two summits exceeding 2,000 feet among them.
Not surprisingly, in Dartmoor the walking opportunities are enormous. Cycling in the two National Parks is also extremely popular and there is a good choice of off-road routes taking you to the heart of Dartmoor and Exmoor. Devon’s towns and cities offer stimulating alternatives to the rigours of the countryside.
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