Hartland Abbey, the Gardens and Tea Rooms are open Sunday to Thursday 11 – 5pm all season. (Closed on Fridays and Saturdays).
We welcome visitors to our family home in this beautiful valley leading to the sea and hope that you will really enjoy visiting us in this special corner of Devon. Built for the Augustinian monks in the 12thC, it was the last Abbey in England to be dissolved by Henry VIII and was given to the Keeper of his Wine Cellar at Hampton Court, William Abbott, whose descendants live here today. All the rooms are in daily use by the family and visitors constantly remark on the welcoming, homely atmosphere, so often absent in many open houses today. Hartland Abbey is suitable for all ages with plenty of space for children to run about outside or do the Quiz, the Nature Trail or the Malory Towers Trail! There are benches around the gardens and walks to rest weary limbs! Dogs are very welcome in the gardens, on leads.
There is so much to see and do. Important collections of paintings, fine furniture, porcelain, family memorabilia, early photographs, documents and seals, accumulated over the generations, fascinate visitors. The stunning interiors with their architecture and decoration from the Mediaeval, Queen Anne, Georgian, Regency and Victorian periods including work by Sir George Gilbert Scott, architect of St Pancras Station and the Albert Memorial, are of great interest. The Museum and Exhibitions are included in the gardens ticket and are open from 11am. See our Film Exhibition from 1934, charting the many productions filmed on the estate. Hartland Abbey is the location for Enid Blyton’s ‘Malory Towers’ now in its fifth season! Our small Shop sells a range of unusual gifts, books and cards.
Wander the 50 acres gardens and grounds at leisure following winding paths to the Bog Garden, Victorian fernery, the three 18thC Walled Gardens, glasshouses and woodland shrubberies. From the early bulbs, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas of spring, through to summer flowering annuals, fragrant roses, climbers and vegetables to the late summer deep blue hydrangeas, there is always a spectacular flowering display.
Walk to the beach and Blackpool Mill Cottage where Rosamunde Pilcher’s ‘The Shell Seekers’ (Muschelsuchers), Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and the BBC production of John Le Carre’s ‘The Night Manager’ were filmed, with spectacular views of the rugged coastline and Lundy Island out to sea; in spring the ground is carpeted in beautiful snowdrops, wild daffodils and bluebells followed by foxgloves in May. Follow recently restored paths to the Woodland Summerhouse, hidden by undergrowth since 1950 but recently revealed, and the Gazebo overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. See wandering peacocks, donkeys and guinea fowl.
Delicious homemade light lunches, cream teas and speciality coffees are served in the old kitchens. In good weather there is lots of seating in the courtyard. (you will need to have tickets to the house or gardens for entry to the tearooms).
Hartland Abbey is open regularly from March to October and at other times by arrangement, has level access to many parts of the house and grounds, is suitable for groups and hosts many wonderful events. Throughout the summer there is a full outdoor theatre programme. The abbey and grounds also offer a truly beautiful wedding venue. Twovery different holiday cottages, Blackpool Mill and The Bear, are available to rent on the estate, both sleeping from 2 – 8 guests.
We hope you will visit us and experience our family home and its beautiful gardens. For more information, including admission charges, opening times and images please visit our website. Alternatively to speak to a human being, please ring 01237 441496/234.
Exhibitions and Displays:
The History of the Hartland Abbey Estate
A small display on the history behind this fascinating estate from the 12thC when Hartland Abbey was an Augustinian monastery up until the present day when it is a much loved family home regularly open to visitors.
Filming on the Hartland Abbey Estate since 1934
This is a fascinating display of the many productions filmed on the estate including many stars and household names. Latest images from the filming of ‘Guernsey’ (from the book ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society’), ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier filmed at Hartland Quay and Enid Blyton’s ‘Malory Towers’ filmed in and around the Abbey will be on show. Along with the locations, there are images of ‘behind the scenes’ and the stories of the filming at Hartland Abbey over the many years.
‘William Stukeley – Saviour of Stonehenge’
A fascinating insight into an eccentric 18th century ancestor best known for saving Stonehenge and Avebury from the ‘Stonekillers’. On show are many aspects of his life including a facsimile of his memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton, his works and pictures of Stonehenge and Avebury and many of his drawings from his Itinerarium Curiosum of the 1720s, an extraordinary record of 18thC Britain.
Two smaller exhibits;
A Victorian Honeymoon
An insight into our ancestors’ honeymoon around Europe.
Falconry by The Hon Gerald Lascelles
A fascinating exhibit of the falconry of Sir Hugh’s great-grandfather by falconry expert, Brian Bird.