A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about gardens

May 14, 2018 — Killerton House and Gardens

A lovely day at Killerton House and Gardens and a tiny disappointment in Broadclyst


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Killerton House Entrance

Killerton House Entrance

Started the day with laundry. Done and hung, we set out for Killerton House and Gardens. It wasn’t far but most of the roads were one-lane with two-way traffic so it was slow. Google did take us right to the National Trust parking lot so we parked and entered . . . a bit early. Fortunately they opened a bit early so we walked around the gardens for a few minutes before going into the house. They are doing a special exhibit on Women’s Suffrage and it was very interesting. We walked through the entire house with the usual excellent docents.

Killerton House Exhibit Information

Killerton House Exhibit Information


The Women's Suffrage exhibit was interesting because there were several women living in Killerton House at the time of the Suffrage Movement and they did not all agree. It was fun to read their differing opinions and the reasoning behind them. I know my own grandmother could not vote when she was a young woman and was quite proud that she could do so even when it was common. The site has a restaurant and we decided to try it. Ed got the chicken thigh and I was brave and ordered pork belly which was actually very good. We both got sticky toffee pudding for dessert . . . rich but delicious. The only sour note was the estate-bottled cider that I tried. It had a distinct aftertaste of manure. Not as bad as the Norman hard cider we tried years ago, but close . . . too close. Back to wine tomorrow!

Killerton House

Killerton House

Killerton House Musical Instruments

Killerton House Musical Instruments

Killerton House Dining Room

Killerton House Dining Room

Killerton House Library

Killerton House Library

Killerton House Kitchen (the restaurant)

Killerton House Kitchen (the restaurant)

Sign for the Garden Tour at Killerton House

Sign for the Garden Tour at Killerton House


There was a garden tour at 2:30 so while we waited, we wandered in the garden and then went down to meet the tour led by a volunteer named John who was very good. The tour lasted an hour as John walked us through the gardens giving us history and botanical information. We started with nine people and ended with seven, but it was interesting and informative. We also walked to the Killerton Chapel and visited it. Killerton House, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon, EX5 3LE; tel: +44 (0)01392881345; Click here for the Killerton House National Trust web site

Rhododendrons in the Killerton House Gardens

Rhododendrons in the Killerton House Gardens

Rhododendrons in the Killerton House Gardens

Rhododendrons in the Killerton House Gardens

Rhododendrens at Killerton House Gardens

Rhododendrens at Killerton House Gardens

The Bear's Hut at Killerton House Gardens

The Bear's Hut at Killerton House Gardens

Stained Glass window in the Bear's Hut at Killerton House

Stained Glass window in the Bear's Hut at Killerton House

Wildflowers in the Killerton House Gardens

Wildflowers in the Killerton House Gardens

Killerton Chapel

Killerton Chapel

The Rose Window at Killerton Chapel

The Rose Window at Killerton Chapel

View from Killerton House Gardens

View from Killerton House Gardens


We got the car and drove to Broadclyst to see Clyston Mill. Had no trouble parking and followed signs to the churchyard where the signs disappeared. A young lady walking a very cute dog saved us. She took us across the churchyard and pointed out a gate on the far side, so we trekked through the graveyard, through the gate and across a field to a locked gate with a sign saying “Mon.-Fri. Open 1-5" and it was 4:45 and obviously not open despite the sign.

Thatched house in Poltimore on the way to Broadclyst

Thatched house in Poltimore on the way to Broadclyst

Thatched house in Broadclyst, Devon

Thatched house in Broadclyst, Devon

St. John the Baptist Church in Broadclyst

St. John the Baptist Church in Broadclyst

The Red Lion Inn in Broadclyst, Devon

The Red Lion Inn in Broadclyst, Devon

St. John the Baptist Church in Broadclyst graveyard

St. John the Baptist Church in Broadclyst graveyard

Misleading sign to Clyston Mill - It was closed.

Misleading sign to Clyston Mill - It was closed.

Back through the Churchyard

Back through the Churchyard

We plodded back through field, cemetery and town to the car and started home which involved the one-lane roads again, but we made it and our laundry was dry. Brought in the clothes and put them away and I think we can relax for the evening.

Posted by Beausoleil 16:14 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged gardens uk devon killerton_house Comments (1)

May 18, 2018 — Tiverton and Knightshayes Court

We visited the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life in the morning, had another wonderful lunch at Frou Frou's and then drove to Knighthayes Court for the afternoon. Our last day in Devonshire.


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Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Our last day in Devon and we decided to visit the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life in the morning, make a lunch reservation at Frou Frou and then drive up to Knightshayes in the afternoon. Therefore, after breakfast we drove into Tiverton and parked. Made the easy two-minute walk to the museum, paid and entered. It looks small, but it’s very big and fascinating. It deals with prehistory, agriculture over the years, daily life over the years, the wool trade, the lace trade and finally the railway with a full-size locomotive in one gallery. The lace for Queen Victoria’s wedding dress was made in Tiverton and the lace for all Royal weddings since has been made here. We wondered if Meghan’s lace was made here for her wedding to Prince Harry tomorrow. No one seemed to know. We got to see almost everything and I bought bookplates for Angie and Scout in the gift shop. Ed took my picture on the locomotive too. Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life, Beck's Square, Tiverton EX16 6PJ; tel: +44 (0)1884 256295; tivertontic@tivertonmuseum.org.uk; Click here for the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life web site

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life - Carved clock and Queen Victoria

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life - Carved clock and Queen Victoria

Heathcoat-Amory Family Story

Heathcoat-Amory Family Story

Mangle Iron in the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Mangle Iron in the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life - the Tivvy Bumper

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life - the Tivvy Bumper

Posing in the Tivvy Bumper - Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Posing in the Tivvy Bumper - Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Posing with a Mini Cooper in the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Posing with a Mini Cooper in the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Frou Frou Café Bistro in Tiverton - a favorite

Frou Frou Café Bistro in Tiverton - a favorite


At that point we needed to walk fairly quickly to Frou Frou for our lunch reservation. Our table by the door was waiting as requested. Ed got the chicken wrapped in Parma ham with red pepper sauce and I got the lamb steak . . . both excellent. Ed got the cheesecake with passion fruit for dessert and I got the affogato with vanilla ice cream, two small macaroons and an espresso. The waitress remembered Ed liked ice in his water and I didn’t. It was fun. We’d met our waitress’s fiancé on Saturday. Starting to feel like home; time to move.

Knightshayes Court - Entrance Courtyard

Knightshayes Court - Entrance Courtyard

Stables at Knightshayes Court National Trust Site

Stables at Knightshayes Court National Trust Site


After lunch we drove up to Knightshayes Court, former home of the Heathcoat Amory family who donated it to the National Trust. All the guidebook information, including the National Trust, said not to use sat.-nav. (GPS) because it wasn’t accurate but we used Google Maps on my phone and it worked perfectly although we did carefully check road signs. We parked and walked to the house and through it. It’s very impressive although the docents were unusually quiet. After we toured the house, we walked through the beautiful gardens. When we left, Google failed us. I couldn’t get it to connect. Fortunately we remembered the way home but Google wouldn’t connect the entire way. We need it tomorrow to find our new cottage in the Cotswolds! Knightshayes Court, Bolham, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 7RQ; tel: +44 (0)1884 254665; Click here for the Knightshayes Court National Trust web site

View from Knightshayes Court

View from Knightshayes Court

Knightshayes Court - Entry

Knightshayes Court - Entry

Knightshayes Court - Stuffed bird in the Entry

Knightshayes Court - Stuffed bird in the Entry

Knightshayes Court - Dining Room

Knightshayes Court - Dining Room

Knightshayes Court - Library, my favorite room

Knightshayes Court - Library, my favorite room

Knightshayes Court - Stuffed bird in the Library

Knightshayes Court - Stuffed bird in the Library

Knightshayes Court - Billiard Room Decorations

Knightshayes Court - Billiard Room Decorations

Knightshayes Court - Stuffed bird in the Kitchen

Knightshayes Court - Stuffed bird in the Kitchen

Knightshayes Court - Staircase and Grandfather Clock

Knightshayes Court - Staircase and Grandfather Clock

Knightshayes Court - Bedroom

Knightshayes Court - Bedroom

Knightshayes Court - Sitting Room

Knightshayes Court - Sitting Room

Knightshayes Court - Bedroom with amazing painting

Knightshayes Court - Bedroom with amazing painting

Knightshayes Court - Garden

Knightshayes Court - Garden

Knightshayes Court - Garden Topiary with a view of the house

Knightshayes Court - Garden Topiary with a view of the house

Knightshayes Court - Garden

Knightshayes Court - Garden

Knightshayes Court - Garden

Knightshayes Court - Garden

Knightshayes Court - Taking our leave . . .

Knightshayes Court - Taking our leave . . .

I did get Google Maps on my phone working again. I think Vodafone went down in our area because LeFrench Mobile uses Vodafone in the UK. Fingers crossed for tomorrow . . .

Posted by Beausoleil 16:13 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged gardens museums uk devon devonshire tiverton knightshayes manor_houses Comments (3)

September 19, 2018 — Kirkham Priory and Castle Howard

Bridge over the river Derwent near Kirkham Priory

Bridge over the river Derwent near Kirkham Priory

Weather prediction today was sunny until noon, heavy rain until 2:00 and then sunny with winds the rest of the day. I wanted good photos of the bridge by Kirkham Priory so when we woke to the promised sunshine, we quickly drove to the Priory for bridge pics. It was a short, pretty drive and I got my pictures. The Priory opened so we used our English Heritage membership to get in free. It was not crowded and we had it to ourselves. Bought a Priory guide with a map and explored. I got more bridge photos from inside the Priory.

Kirkham Priory

Kirkham Priory

Kirkham Priory

Kirkham Priory

Kirkham Priory

Kirkham Priory

Kirkham Priory

Kirkham Priory

***** Driving on to Castle Howard *****

Entrance to Castle Howard

Entrance to Castle Howard

Got back in the car and made the short drive to Castle Howard. Our English Heritage membership got us a 6 GBP discount. We hopped the train to the castle and discovered the castle restaurant, the Fitzroy Room is cafeteria style so we hiked back up to the Courtyard Café at the entrance hoping they had something besides the advertised pork belly. Fortunately, they did. Ed got scampi and I got the Ploughman’s lunch of cheese, ham, pork, paté, a root vegetable crudité and a very spicy chutney with brown bread. It was excellent. Ed got orange spice cake for dessert and I got carrot cake that was quite spicy. We shared a large pot of tea . . . needed on a brutally windy day.

The  Stable Courtyard

The Stable Courtyard

Little Shuttle Train at Castle Howard

Little Shuttle Train at Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard


We caught the train back to the castle and entered. They turn you loose in the castle with docents in each room to answer questions.

It was very nice, well kept and impressive until we walked into the Great Hall. That was overwhelming. Your eyes go skyward three stories to a dome with a lantern, the curved top of which is painted in the classic style. The entire hall with frescoes, ornate balconies, gilded pillars and fireplaces is designed to impress and it does. After the Great Hall, you continue through the house/castle and as you look through the east windows, you see the Atlas Fountain in the garden. I took photos out of several windows and was glad I did because the promised rain soon started with a vengeance and the windows were covered. Later they turned the fountain off (at 3:00 PM) to save water so if I hadn’t taken the photos when I did, there would only be a very dry fountain in my pictures.

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard - Fountain

Castle Howard - Fountain

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard - Brideshead Revisited

Castle Howard - Brideshead Revisited

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard


We continued through the magnificent castle and ended as usual, in the gift shop. The predicted sun had come out so we went out to the gardens, photographed a dry Atlas Fountain and then followed the beautiful Lime Walk to the Rose Garden that, even in mid-September was impressive. I spotted a cute cotton-tail rabbit nibbling grass and was trying to take pictures when a group of Chinese students first tried to walk in front of me which Ed managed to forestall and then clapped to scare the poor little rabbit who ran away. The students thought it was hilarious and I wished I could speak Chinese. Probably just as well I couldn’t or we would have had an international incident. Their mothers would have been mortified by their behavior.

*****

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Castle Howard - The Atlas Fountain (after they turned off the water)

Castle Howard - The Atlas Fountain (after they turned off the water)

Castle Howard - the Walled Garden

Castle Howard - the Walled Garden

Castle Howard - the Walled Garden

Castle Howard - the Walled Garden

Castle Howard - the Walled Garden

Castle Howard - the Walled Garden

Castle Howard - the Walled Garden

Castle Howard - the Walled Garden

Castle Howard, rabbit in the Walled Garden

Castle Howard, rabbit in the Walled Garden

We walked back to the Farm Shop and got bread and wine for our dinner and drove home. Our neighbors' patio furniture was blown over but ours survived. Winds are supposed to be worse tonight.

Posted by Beausoleil 15:52 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged gardens castles flowers roses priories kirkham_priory Comments (9)

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