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

Tracey Estate

Statutory Designation: 

Tracey House (demolished in 2003), gate piers at entrance to drive, lodge, gate piers and gate adj. lodge all listed Grade II.

Opening Arrangements: 
Private estate, open for events which are advertised in the press and on the Tracey Estate web site. Wedding venue.
East Devon
Type of site: 
C18 Parkland

The Tracey Estate dates back to the C12 when part of Ivedon Manor passed to William de Tracy (one of the four knights who, at the instigation of Henry II, assassinated Thomas a Becket) through marriage, and was renamed Tracey Hayes. The Georgian house was dramatically sited on the hillside with extensive views over the Otter Valley.  Unfortunately, death duties after World War II absorbed funds which could have been used for repairs to the house.  Tracey House was left empty and decaying for many years, and was finally demolished as a dangerous structure in 2003.  The important inter-relationship between the house and its grounds has been lost, but the grounds remain as a designed landscape of considerable significance within the Blackdown Hills AONB.  Below where the house once stood is the formal terrace; a lower terrace overlooks the parkland with its many fine specimen trees, including Wellingtonias, Sequoias and Lucombe Oaks.  The carriage drive from the lodge survives, as does the secondary entrance piers and gates to the west of the house.  To the east is a woodland garden with rides, specimen trees and a charming formal oval garden with a large Victorian fountain, at a much lower level than the house.  In 2011 the Furnival family, owners of the estate, started an ambitious project to restore the garden.  The original walks/rides through the garden were identified and have been opened up, large areas of laurel and Rhododendron ponticum have been removed, the formal oval garden has been restored and the restoration of the fountain is being considered, a Yew circle has been restored, and the large walled garden to the north has been restored. More recently, two natural pools have been uncovered, one to collect the water, the other for bathing.  The walled kitchen garden survives largely intact but overgrown.

Conservation Area: 
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: 
Area of Great Landscape Value: 
Nature Conservation Zone: 
Coastal Preservation Area: 
National Park: 
MapView plan, scale 1:1250 Getmapping aerial photograph 1:2500 Historic Maps c1880 scale 1:2500
Cherry & Pevsner: The Buildings of England – Devon, 1989: 142
on Devon Gazetteer