Lympstone Manor, previously Courtlands

All on Devon Gazetteer
  • Parkland and gardens
  • Picturesque
  • Walled Kitchen Garden
Local Authority:
East Devon
OS Grid Ref:
SX 999 832
Map no.:
Explorer 115

A large stuccoed mansion, parts of it are probably C18 or older. 

Garden façade has Victorian verandah.  There are views over the Exe estuary towards Cockwoood, the Haldon Hills and Powderham.  It belonged to the Roberts, Baring and then Spicer families.  White (1850) noted it simply as a ‘pleasant seat on the east bank of the estuary’ while Stockdale described it as ’an elegant spacious mansion, was built in the year 1800 by the late Charles Baring Esq., very delightfully situated contiguous to the Exe’.  The sale particulars of about 1906 note the rose covered verandah, terraces, rosebeds, parterres, kitchen garden and parkland. A mile long walk, known as The Lady's Walk, winds through a leafy glade past ponds and through the formal gardens. This shown on old and modern maps, it encircles the parkland and runs beside the river.  In the mid C20 the property was owned by Sir Garbutt Knott.  In the 1950’s the property was acquired by the Robshaw family, who lived at Courtlands for almost 50 years and, at one time, ran the house as a nursing home.  They also obtained planning permission for the modern houses and bungalows which detract from the character and appearance of the estate. Nevertheless, sufficient remains of the original landscape to justify its inclusion on the  Devon Gazetteer.  Several specimen trees survive, as does the walled kitchen garden to the north.  Now an hotel.

Listed Buildings

Courtlands House, C19 steps to garden opposite the entrance door, crenellated garden wall along road boundary between Courtlands House & Courtlands Lane  all listed Grade II


T Gray: The Garden History of Devon, 1995: 80.
Strutt & Parker sale particulars 2006
Helen Whitmore: A Stroll into the Eighteenth Century Around a Ladies Walk  (Journal of the Devon Gardens Trust)

Related designers:

50.6412203, -3.4163368