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Devon Gardens Trust is devoted to the preservation and enhancement of gardens in the UK county of Devon

Clovelly Court

Statutory Designation: 

House, stables, gateway, lodges, game larder, walls enclosing kitchen gardens with gazebo and cottage, Hobby Lodge listed Grade II.  Clovelly Court should be added to the English Heritage Register as a Grade II item.

Opening Arrangements: 
The gardens are regularly open for visitors.
Grid ref: 
SS 309 252
Map no: 
Landranger 190
Type of site: 
Parkland and walled kitchen gardens

Clovelly Court was the seat of the Carys, then of the Hamlyns. Ahouse has stood on the site for over 600 years.  Following a fire in 1789, an elegant Gothic Georgian wing was built in the same year. This wing was badly burnt in 1943, leaving the most ancient, albeit plain remains.  The parkland extends over 10 hectares (25 acres), with fine views over Bideford Bay.  The Hobby Drive was constructed by Hamlyn in 1829, offering an alternate carriageway approach through oak woodlandsto the picturesque village of Clovelly.  The garden is a classic example of the Victorian kitchen garden tradition, which has undergone a major renovation of the fine range of lean-to greenhouses and the re-introduction of tender fruit species.  The walled garden is also now used extensively for market gardening.  Old roses and shrubs are displayed in the garden behind the house.  The terraces also enjoy views over Bideford Bay.  In 1796  Rev John Swete wrote ‘the grounds had a fine natural fall to the sea and were charmingly diversified, with hill and vale, open glades and ancient woods.’  A diarist in 1823 noted that the ‘romantic’ grounds had a summer-house called ‘The Cabin’ which was ‘too grand to attempt description’.  He also noted that Lucombe had supplied mountain ashes with yellow and orange berries, as well as others with white, pale and dark red berries; these trees were a feature of the Hobby Drive.  White (1850) noted that it was a ‘large and handsome seat . . .the views from the house are extremely grand.’ 

Clovelly Court view over parkland (September 2012).
Clovelly Court walled vegetable garden (September 2012).
Conservation Area: 
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: 
Area of Great Landscape Value: 
Nature Conservation Zone: 
Coastal Preservation Area: 
National Park: 
MapView plans, scale 1:2500 and 1:4000 Ordnance Survey 2nd edition, 1906, scale 6” (WCSL sheet 17SE) Ordnance Survey 2nd edition, 1905, scale 1:2500 (WCSL sheet 17/12) Getmapping aerial photograph 1:2500 Historic Maps c1880 scale 1:2500 Extract from the leaflet ‘Explore the Wonderful Gardens of North Devon’
Cherry & Pevsner: The Buildings of England – Devon, 1989: 270 S Pugsley: Devon Gardens – An Historical Survey, 1994: 176 T Gray: The Garden History of Devon, 1995: 72-3 T Gray: Devon Country Houses and Gardens Engraved Vol I, 2001: 73
on Devon Gazetteer