Lewtrenchard Manor

All on Devon Gazetteer
  • Victorian
Local Authority:
West Devon
OS Grid Ref:
SX 457 861
Map no.:
Landranger 201

An attractive but not especially Devonian house, now an hotel.  The house, parts of which date from c1600, was substantially remodelled by Sabine Baring-Gould from 1881.  It was described by Cherry and Pevsner as ‘an intriguing creation’.  The remains of a formal beech avenue from the entrance gates can still be seen, although disrupted by additions to the rear of the house, it continues eastward for some 400-500 yards.  The approach to the house is through an informal/natural garden with a small stream and a rustic bridge. At the back of the house is a picturesque little courtyard garden with a miniature granite cloister; the granite cloister loggia was based on the Moretonhampstead almshouses of 1637..   Nearby is a French-looking dovecote.  Near the front of the house is a square garden pavilion, two storeys high and called the Tower House and a rather fine fountain, dated 1894, of 'an Alsatian gooseherd'  carrying two geese. South of the tarmac drive there is a formal terrace garden with a small building housing the ‘holy well’.  The Dovecot, Tower, the first terrace with the pool and well were all designed by Sabine himself in late 19C.  Sabine Baring-Gould died in 1924.  The formal garden is separated from the paddock by a beech hedge and a formal stone retaining wall with ball finials on top of the buttresses.  In 1928 Gertrude Jekyll received plans of the area below the buttressed wall (part of Sabine's design) from Walter Sarel, a London architect who was presumably employed by Edward Sabine Baring-Gould.  She designed borders to go either side of the steps to the paddock below the wall. Nothing remained of the 6 ft wide herbaceous borders, immediately in front of the wall, designed by Gertrude Jekyll but these are now being replanted to her original planting plans (2006) To the south of  the paddock, and at the bottom of a precipitous slope, is a lake created from a quarry.  There are two walled kitchen gardens.  One greenhouse has been restored together with the original heating system; the other is derelict but the heating system still exists.  The slate-edged beds have been recovered in the kitchen gardens and both are in productive use(2006).  The gardener has an 1884 list of the roses planted in pool garden and has found sources for 46 of the 91 listed (2006).


Listed Buildings

Lewtrenchard Manor listed Grade II*,statue, drinking trough, dovecote, well and garden pond, terrace wall, gate piers and wall all listed Grade II.


Cherry & Pevsner: The Buildings of England – Devon, 1989: 535  
T Gray: The Garden History of Devon, 1995: 139

Related designers:

50.653643, -4.181917