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Hartland Abbey and gardens

Hartland Abbey is the lived-in family home of the Stucley family. Although it was built in the 12th century, remaining as a monastery for 400 years and passing through the female line three times, it has never been sold. Consequently, it contains collections of pictures, furniture and porcelain which have accumulated over many generations. The story of the Abbey mirrors local and national history at every turn. It has a friendly and lived-in atmosphere, so often absent in many of our nation’s historic houses, a point continually remarked upon by those who visit us.


Hartland Abbey was built in 1157 and consecrated by Bishop Bartholomew of Exeter in 1160 A.D. as a monastery of the regular canons of the Order of St Augustine of Hippo. The Abbey remained as a monastery until 1539 when it became the last monastery in the country to be Dissolved by Henry VIII. The King made a gift of the Abbey to the Sergeant of his Wine Cellar at Hampton Court, Mr. William Abbot….. Details


The remains of the original Abbey can still be glimpsed within the basement. On the west are two Queen Anne extensions to the original. The main structure was demolished and rebuilt in the Strawberry Hill Gothic style in the 18th century with further improvements in the 19th century by George Gilbert Scott….Details


From 1157-1539 the Augustinian canons lived and gardened in this hidden paradise. In the 18th century woodland gardens were created on either side of the Abbey with woodland walks leading to walled gardens, built to be sheltered from the worst of the Atlantic gales. In the late 19th early 20th century Gertrude Jekyll was a frequent guest at the Abbey and was instrumental in helping Marion, Lady Stucley, create the intimate paths and small terraces of the Baronet’s Bog Garden, Victorian Fernery and Camellia Garden….Details