South Devon has some fabulous historic houses and gardens that are open pretty much all year round. Listed below are some of those that can be accessed easily from our various self catering holiday apartments in Torquay.
With a history stretching back more than 800 years the Abbey can claim to be one of the oldest buildings in the entire area. It started life as a religious community until Henry VIII's dissolution programme resulted in its forced closure. It played host to prisoners from the Spanish Armada and was a family home until 1930 when it finally became a museum and home to the municipal art collection. Amongst its famous visitors was Horatio Nelson.
Today, Torre Abbey is open to the public as are its fabulous walled gardens with their arid house and palm house.
This was the holiday home that Agatha Christie bought on the banks of The River Dart in 1938. The house originated in Tudor times having been built by the Gilbert family but is substantially a Georgian property.
Now in the hands of The National Trust, the house and its grounds are open to the public seven days a week for most of the year.
This is another property owned by The National Trust and was the home of the D'Oyly Carte family who operated the Savoy Theatre in London. Coleton Fishacre has an Art Deco interior and spectacular cliff top garden this property has appeal throughout the year. This property is best reached by car and lies between Brixham and Dartmouth. Journey time is around twenty five minutes.
Berry Pomeroy Castle
Berry Pomeroy Castle is set deep in the countryside outside Torquay and Paignton. It sits on a rocky outcrop and was originally home to the Pomeroy family who needed an easily defended home in the troubled years leading up to the Wars of the Roses. In later years it passed into the Seymour family's hands one of whose family members was Jane Seymour, wife of Henry VIII and mother of Edward VI. There were massive building programmes in both the Tudor periods and the later Jacobite periods and the home that was created was astoundingly beautiful and beyond anything else that had been built in the south west of England. The fortunes of the Pomeroys very much declined but the Seymours were adroit at steering their way through difficult times and still own the property today. At the start of the 1700's they stripped the property of anything they could use elsewhere and it was allowed to fall into ruin. Today, glimpses of the stunning palace that had been built on the site are still evident at a castle reputed to be the most haunted in England. The castle is managed by English Heritage.
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