• The Arts and Crafts Garden, Talk by Jonathan Lovie, Thursday 20th February 2020 at 2.30 pm.
Devon Gardens Trust is devoted to the preservation and enhancement of gardens in the UK county of Devon

Hartland Abbey

Statutory Designation: 

House listed Grade I.  Folly, four bridges and gateway listed Grade II.  Hartland Abbey should be added to the English Heritage Register as a Grade II item.

Grid ref: 
SS 241 249
Map no: 
Landranger 190
Type of site: 
Parkland, former Abbey

The Augustinian monastery was founded in the twelfth century and was granted to William Abbott in 1546, whose descendants are still the owners.  In 1796 Rev. John Swete visited Hartland and wrote that ’the whole of the landscape was uncommonly picturesque.’  He noted that the current mansion had been erected only 20 years before.  A valley garden is the most recent occupant of this historic site.  The formal gardens east and west of the house shown on a survey of 1702 were replaced by lawns in the later eighteenth century.  The wooded valley sides have been planted with rhododendrons and the late Sir Dennis Stucley created a camellia garden with bog plants, primulas, etc., by the house.  The walled gardens further up the valley are now full of old shrub roses, herbaceous and perennial planting.  The walls themselves follow the contours of the valley, giving them an unusual outline.  The water garden was planted with the advice of Gertrude Jekyll and, until recently, was hidden by undergrowth.  There is a woodland walk to the beach, alongside the Abbey River.  The 1906 Ordnance Survey map shows a small deer park and Abbey fish pond immediately to the west. Open occasionally to the public.

Hartland Abbey.
Conservation Area: 
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: 
Area of Great Landscape Value: 
Nature Conservation Zone: 
Coastal Preservation Area: 
National Park: 
MapView plan, scale 1:4000 and 1:2500 Ordnance Survey 2nd edition, 1906, scale 6” (WCSL sheet 17SW) Getmapping aerial photograph 1:10000 Illustrated leaflet Extract from the leaflet ‘Explore the Wonderful Gardens of North Devon’
Cherry & Pevsner: The Buildings of England – Devon, 1989: 473-4 S Pugsley: Devon Gardens – An Historical Survey, 1994: 72, 135, 136, 137-38 T Gray: The Garden History of Devon, 1995: 119-20 R Polwhele: History of Devonshire, (1793-1806), II Country Life, v.174, 1983: 602-5, 662 RP Chope: The Story of Hartland, 1902 T Gray: Devon Country Houses and Gardens Engraved Vol I, 2001: 157-8
on Devon Gazetteer