Indio House

All on Devon Gazetteer
  • Gardens
  • Parkland
  • Walled Kitchen Garden
Bovey Tracey
Local Authority:
OS Grid Ref:
SX 816 778
Map no.:
Landranger 191

The 1939 sales particulars refer to well-timbered grounds with a shrubbery to the north, lawns with forest trees to south and west, formal beds and herbaceous borders and to the east a wild garden and shrubbery, formal rose garden and rock & water garden. The parkland is said to stretch away to the south, with a paddock to the north. A kitchen garden, adjoining orchard and nursery, stable block and lodge are included. Indio House replaced an earlier house on this site and was designed in 1850 by the Exeter architect, David Mackintosh for Charles Aldenburg Bentinck, Lord of the Manor of Bovey Tracey, The Bentincks were from The Netherlands and came to England with William of Orange in 1688. The house remained in the ownership of the Bentinck family until 1939, when it was sold with 1.5miles of trout fishing and 400 acres. The gardens at Indio were said to be a showpiece in the Bentincks' time. They were under the capable control of a Bovey Tracey man, Fred Edgecombe, from 1923-1938. During this period the gardens included orchards, vegetable gardens, a walled garden with fruit trained against the walls, heated greenhouses including orchid houses, a 72ft peach house and a carnation house. Mr Edgecombe reported that the owner expected a fresh carnation for his buttonhole each morning. The estate employed twenty staff, five of them in the gardens. Indio House is an important historic country house in a mature historic designed landscape. The parkland and paddocks surrounding the house and the historic trackways, lodge, carriage drive and planting belts form part of the historic landscape associated with the house and are important to the appreciation of its setting. The Victorian, 'Tudor-style' building is rather austere but the tall crenellated chimney stacks give a romantic effect. It is constructed of squared rubble, probably Devonian Limestone with squared granite quoins with the doorways and windows dressed in oolithic Limestone, probably Bath Stone under a state roof with blue glazed ridge tiles. Shelter belt planting screens the property from the main road. The entrance is marked by a lodge and gates with brick/stone piers and cast iron railings. The impressive tree lined carriage drive with parkland railings runs from the lodge on Newton Road, through Heathfield Plantation. It continues past the gardener's cottage, walled garden and converted stables which were once part of the estate. To the north of the drive lies parkland and paddocks with mature individual and perimeter trees. A tree lined historic trackway forms the north boundary and links to trackways to the north of the house and east of the parkland. The drive terminates at an open, entrance area on the south side of the house. The principal rooms of the house face predominately south east with open views across parkland towards woods and the Devon countryside beyond. The property retains some 25 acres of this once estate of 400 acres, made up of ancient English woodland, grazing paddocks, an orchard, a third of an acre totally enclosed walled garden and formal gardens adjacent to the house surrounded by shelter belt woods. East of the house is an attractive rose parterre garden with six listed granite columns standing amidst circular and crescent flowerbeds in the Victorian style; open areas of terraced lawn with evidence of further flower beds, a pleasure garden with decorative specimen mature trees including Monkey Puzzle, Oak, Beech; the formal water garden has seen better days. Beyond the parkland railings to the east, is level pasture with a large mature Oak.To the south lies further pasture or parkland bounded by perimeter trees and including an orchard area. To the north lies an orchard with a number of historic orchard trees. The previous Indio House was associated with the Indio Pottery (1750 -1836) which lay to the east of the house. An adit or leat c. 1810-11 connected it to Pond Garden Pottery and the associated Indio Pond or Lakes. The 1939 sales particulars included Indio Pond but it is now in separate ownership.


Cherry and Pevsner: The Buildings of England - Devon (1989).

50.5876902, -3.6753725999999


Indio House is an historic designed landscape of importance in the local context of Devon and is added to the Devon Gazetteer of Parks and Gardens of Local Special Historic Interest. It is also historically associated with the 18 & 19 century pottery industry and includes archaeological and historic landscape features associated with this industry.