On my last day of visiting gardens in Devon, I walked along the coast at Hartland Point before visiting Hartland Abbey. It’s the north Devon coast at its best with lots of rocky outcrops – well worth visiting if you have the time. You can also walk from the Abbey to the coast. It was another beautiful day!

Hartland Abbey is in the north of Devon between Hartland village and Hartland Quay and five miles west of Clovelly.

Gertrude Jekyll was a frequent visitor and you can see why. Once you have walked around the gardens surrounding the house, walk along the Ladies Walk to the eighteenth century Walled Gardens – be careful as you cross the road.

The Walled Gardens have recently been restored and are divided into different sections. The vegetables and fruit are grown for the house while there are many rare plants, perennials and shrubs for sale.

There’s a wonderful loo in the potting shed of the top garden – don’t miss it!

History

Originally owned by the Augustinians, the Abbey was given by Henry VIII to William Abbot, Sergeant to the King’s Cellar in 1546. It was transformed into a house around 1600 with later additions by John Meadows in the eighteenth century. Sir George Gilbert Scott carried out further work in 1862. Gertrude Jekyll was a frequent visitor and helped Lady Stucley with the design of the garden. Jekyll advised on the Baronet’s Bog Garden, the Victorian Fernery and the Camellia Garden. The Walled Gardens were neglected during the War but in 1996 a restoration programme began. The Gazebo and Summerhouse were restored and vegetables, fruit, herbaceous plants and tender perennials were planted. The house has never been sold. The current owner is Sir Hugh George Copplestone Bampfylde Stucley, a descendent of the original owner.

There’s a cafe as well as a Musuem and Gift Shop in the basement of the house.

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