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Historic Buildings of Devon, England

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Historic Buildings of Devon


The object of this project is to provide information about historic buildings in the county of Devon, with links to sub-projects for specific buildings as appropriate. GENi profiles of people associated with those establishments can be linked to this project and/or to individual projects where they have been set up.

Image right - Compton Castle, Devon

Geograph © Copyright Roger Cornfoot and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.
See Historic Buildings of Britain and Ireland - Main Page

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If you have information about any of the Buildings mentioned below please share it here. If you have ancestors linked to any of the places please add them to the project.


Historic houses in alphabetical order

Including Castles, Abbeys, Priories, Manor Houses, Mansions, Stately Homes, Country houses, Estate houses, Courts, Halls, Parks and other listed buildings of historic interest.

Full sizes of the thumbnail images can be seen in the Gallery attached to the project or by clicking the thumbnail image. TIP - Use ctrl+the link to open the image in a separate tab, or use "back" to return to this project page) Sources for the images can be found in the image details as seen in the gallery.

Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles or projects. Other links take you to external biographical web pages. Please copy and paste the bullet used - ● - instead of * when adding items to the list.


● Affeton Castle

A La Ronde History - National trust small, 16 sided, 3 storey house; In 1784 daughter of a wealthy Devon wine merchant ., set off on a grand tour of Europe accompanied by her invalid sister Elizabeth, an orphaned cousin, Mary Parminter, Richard Parminter and Mary (née Walrond), and a London friend, Miss Colville. Over several years these intrepid women explored France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and possibly Spain and Portugal, before returning to England. Elizabeth died soon afterwards. Inspired by their travels, and in particular by the 6th-century Byzantine basilica of San Vitale at Ravenna, Jane and Mary made plans to build themselves a rural retreat, near fashionable Exmouth, which would remind them of their tour and provide a home for their many souvenirs. Upon their return to England, the two cousins, (Jane and Mary), decided to settle in Exmouth, where several other family members were living in the area, and bought land on the edge of the town where they built the house of A la Ronde, designed in the style of an octagonal church they had visited in Ravenna. Mary was thirty-one when they took up residence in 1798 and the two cousins spent much time and energy in decorating the interior with carefully crafted artwork made from paper, feathers and shells. A la Ronde, now owned by the National Trust, is particularly famous for its unique shell gallery with walls covered in pictures and patterns created totally from shells.

● Arlington Court


● Bark House

● Berry Pomeroy Castle

● Bickleigh Castle

Bicton House or Bickton House

Image above: Drawn by T. Allom, engraved by W. le Petit, published c. 1830 - Antique Prints, Public Domain, WIKI

A late 18th - or early 19th-century country house, which stands on the campus of Bicton College, Bicton, near Exmouth, East Devon. It is a Grade II* listed building. The manor was held in demesne by William Portitor, the king's door-keeper, when the Domesday Survey was taken. It was held as the king's gaol for the county of Devon managed by the Lord of Bicton. The gaol was removed from Bicton House to Exeter. The manor of Bicton was granted by King Henry I to John Janitor. In 1229, Ralph Balistarius, or Le Balister (the cross-bow-bearer), occupied the manor. His descendants, the Alabasters, a corruption of Le Balister, held the manor for five generations. It then was passed to the Sacheville, or Sackville, and Copleston families through female heirs.

Bicton was purchased in the 16th century from the Coplestones by Sir Robert Denys (1525–1592) of nearby Holcombe Burnel, who built a new manor house and created one of the county's first enclosed deer parks. His son, Sir Thomas Denys died and his daughter Anne Denys received the manor. She had married Sir Henry Rolle (d.1616) of Stevenstone, Devon and the estate passed to her husband. Henry was the son of John Rolle, and great grandson to the founder of the Rolle family of Stevenstone, George Rolle (died 1552).

Henry's nephew, Henry of Beam near Torrington, inherited the estate, but died without a living heir in 1647. The manor was then passed to John Rolle through marriage to his cousin Florence Rolle, co-heiress of Dennis Rolle, Esquire of Bicton, who when he died in 1706 held nearly 40 manors in Devon and estates in Cornwall, Somerset and Northamptonshire. John had married the heiress of Marrais and settled there. John and Florence had four sons, the eldest son was made Baron Role in 1748 and died in 1750 without issue and the title became extinct.

In about 1800 John Rolle, 1st Baron Rolle (d.1842), son of Dennis Rolle (d.1797), replaced the old manor house with the existing two storey mansion, designed by architect James Wyatt and built in red brick and limestone.

John Rolle, 1st Baron Rolle married the Hon. Louisa Trefusis, a relative and second daughter of Robert Trefusis, 17th Baron Clinton. He died without issue in 1842. The Stevenstone and Bicton estates, amounting to some 55,000 acres (220 km2), devolved by his will to Hon. Mark George Kerr Trefusis (1836–1907), then aged 6, the nephew of his second wife Louisa Trefusis (1794–1885) (daughter of Robert George William Trefusis, 17th Baron Clinton (1764–1797)), and second son of the 19th Baron Clinton. On his inheritance in 1852 he changed his surname to Rolle; he died without issue in 1907, his heir being his nephew Charles John Robert Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis, 21st Baron Clinton (1863–1957).

The house was extended, including the addition of a third storey to the main block, in 1898.

James Barnes was head gardener there from 1831-1860. He eventually left his post under acrimonious circumstances, successfully suing his former employer, Lady Rolfe, for libellous claims that he had left the gardens in a poor state. James Barnes was awarded £100

● Blackhall Manor

● Bowden House

● Bradfield Hall

● Bradley

● Brunel Manor

Buckland Abbey is a 700-year-old house in Buckland Monachorum, near Yelverton, Devon, noted for its connection with Sir Richard Grenville the Younger and Sir Francis Drake and presently in the ownership of the National Trust. Buckland Abbey was originally a Cistercian abbey founded in 1278 by Amicia, Countess of Devon and was a daughter house of Quarr Abbey, on the Isle of Wight. It remained an abbey until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII. In 1541 Henry sold Buckland to Sir Richard Grenville the Elder (Sewer of the Chamber to Henry VIII, poet, soldier, last Earl Marshall of Calais) who, working with his son Sir Roger Greynvile (Gentleman of the Privy Chamber Henry VIII, Captain of the ill fated Mary Rose), began to convert the abbey into a residence renaming it Buckland Greynvile. Sir Roger died in 1545 when the Mary Rose heeled over in a sudden squall while the English Fleet was engaged with the French Fleet in the Narrow Sea off Portsmouth, leaving a son aged 3, also named Richard Grenville, who completed the conversion in 1575–76. After being owned by the family for 40 years, Buckland Greynvile was sold by Sir Richard the Younger to two intermediaries in 1581, who unbeknownst to Greynvile, were working for Drake, whom he despised. Drake lived in the house for 15 years, as did many of his collateral descendants until 1946, when it was sold to a local landowner, Arthur Rodd, who presented the property to the National Trust in 1948.

● Buckland House

● Butterford House


● Cadhay

Castle Drogo is a country house near Drewsteignton, Devon. It was built from 1911 and was finished in 1930 for Julius Drewe (businessman and founder of the Home and Colonial Stores) to designs by architect Edwin Lutyens, and is a Grade I listed building. It is currently undergoing a 5-year conservation project (2013-2017) to finally make it watertight. Castle Drogo was the last castle to be built in England, and probably the last private house in the country to be built entirely of granite.

● Castle Hill

Cockington Court and Manor - Cockington Court was built over the remains of a medieval court. In the days of the Cary family it was an actual court; today it is filled with various arts and crafts workshops. The Court was the mansion house of the Mallock family, and remains the focal point of the estate. Originally built in the 16th century, it has few architectural features remaining from then, but was altered and extended several times, particularly in 1673 by Rawlyn Mallock (Rawlin) and about 1820 by the Rev'd Roger Mallock. He had the top floor removed and the interior remodelled. Its historical significance merits great care in maintaining its existing fabric and in ensuring new elements are sympathetically designed.

  • From Caring for Cockington - "The Cockington Estate was owned by Sir Richard de Cockington and his descendants from the year 1130 to the year 1350. Sir Robert de Cary acquired the Manor in 1374, and his family occupied it until they were succeeded by the Mallocks, who held it from 1654, until the time when the Estate was formed into the Cockington Trust.'

Coleton Fishacre is a property consisting of a 24-acre (97,000 m2) garden and a house in the Arts and Crafts style, situated in Kingswear, Devon. The property has been in the ownership of the National Trust since 1982. It was built as a country home for Rupert D'Oyly Carte and his wife, Lady Dorothy Carte, between 1923 and 1926. The architect was Oswald Milne, a former assistant to Edwin Lutyens, who designed the house with the principles of the Arts and Crafts Movement in mind: simplicity of design and quality of craftsmanship.

● Compton Castle

● Coryton Park

● Court Green


● Dartington Hall

● Dartmoor longhouse

● Downes

Downes, Crediton, Devon. Built in 1692 the property is Grade II Listed. Originally constructed of red brick by Moses Gould, the property was faced with Beer Stone by James Buller in 1794 before undergoing extensive changes during the 19th Century. Downes is the historic home of General Sir Redvers Buller VC and includes a small museum to celebrate this.


● The Elizabethan House

● Escot House


● Fallapit House

● Flete House

● Fowlescombe Hall and Manor


● Great Bidlake

● Great Fulford

● Greenway Estate


Hapstead House, Buckfastleigh.

● Hemerdon House

● Hillersdon House

● Huntsham Court




● Kelly House

● Kennaway House

● Killerton

● Kirkham House

● Kitley

● Knightshayes Court


Langaford House Holne

● Langdon Court

● Loughwood Meeting House

● Lupton House

● Luscombe Castle

● Lynwood House


● Maristow House

● Moreton House


● Nutwell


Oldway Mansion


Images above taken 20th October 2019 by C June Barnes - Oldway Mansion has been closed since 2013. Owned by Torbay Council

Oldway Mansion is a large house and gardens in Paignton, Devon, England. It was built as a private residence for Isaac Singer (1811–1875), and rebuilt by his son Paris Singer in the style of the Palace of Versailles.

● Orleigh Court

● Overbeck's


● Peamore House

● Poltimore House

● Portledge Manor

● Powderham Castle

● The Prysten House, Plymouth

● Pynes House




● Saltram House

● Sand

● Sandridge Park

● Shiphay Manor

● Shute Barton

● New Shute House

● Sidbury Manor

● Stowford House

● Sydenham House, Devon


● Tapeley Park

● The Three Crowns Hotel

● Tiverton Castle

● Tor Royal

● Torre Abbey

● Totnes Guildhall

● Trewithen House


Ugbrooke Park 18th century house by Robert Adam, on an ancient site, with facades recast in castellated neo-Norman style a century later. The seat of Lord Clifford of the CABAL, Charles II's great minister


● West Challacombe Manor

● Whiteway House

● Wiscombe Park

● Woodway House


References and Sources

Devon Specific


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Other Pages for Historic Buildings of English Counties

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// Buckinghamshire

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// Historic Buildings of Cumberland - Today's Cumbria includes parts of the historic counties of Westmorland and Lancashire

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// Rutland now East Midlands

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// Historic Buildings of Sussex divided into two projects

// East Sussex
// West Sussex

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// this project is in History Link