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Description: Endsleigh House Including Terrace Wall to the South East and Wall to the North East
Date Listed: 21 March 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 92457
OS Grid Reference: SX3910978596
OS Grid Coordinates: 239109, 78596
Latitude/Longitude: 50.5849, -4.2741
Explore more of the area around Milton Abbot, Devon at Explore Britain.
SX 37 NE MILTON ABBOT ENDSLEIGH
9/215 Endsleigh House including terrace
- wall to the south east and wall to
21.3.67 the north east
Formerly the residence of the Dukes of Bedford and known as Endsleigh Cottage, now in
use as an hotel. Designed in 1810 by Sir Jeffry Wyatville for the 6th Duke of
Bedford. Stone rubble with stucco blocked out with a variety of rustication, slate
roofs, rendered diagonally-set chimney shafts, stone dressings. Described as "the
outstanding and probably most nearly perfect surviving instance of a romantic cottage
orne, devised for an aristocratic owner under the influence of the taste for the
Picturesque" (Hussey). Crescent-shaped plan forming a semi-circular courtyard
entrance with the garden elevation commanding extensive views across the Tamar and
landscaped gardens by Humphry Repton. The garden elevation consists of 2 blocks
linked by a curved terrace and colonnade. The east block contains the principal
rooms with service rooms to the north. The colonnade links the east block to a
smaller cottage at the west which was designed as a separate house for the children
with a raised garden between the blocks. 2 and 3 storeys. The garden front of the
principal block consists of a "triple-faceted nucleus" (Hussey). The east facing
elevation is 3-storey with a shaped coped gable with a window with moulded stone
mullions and a high transom with a stone parapet above with panels of ornamental iron
work. Above this a 3-light timber mullioned window with high transom has a square-
headed hoodmould. 2-light casement in the gable. The south west facing elevation,
overlooking the raised garden has a battlemented parapet with segmental merlons. 2
ground floor stone mullioned and transomed canted bay windows share a common pent
roof. The first floor has a statue niche containing a statue of the first Abbot of
Tavistock Abbey. A projecting stack at the right end of this elevation has recessed
panels of armorial bearings. The south elevation is picturesquely irregular with an
asymmetrical front gable with decorative bargeboards and a rustic verandah to the
right. 2 stone mullioned transomed ground floor windows, 1 a canted bay. The rustic
verandah floored with knucklebones has a decorative timber eaves board and a recess
for a rustic seat. 1 first floor oriel has timber mullions and transoms, 3 first
floor half-dormers and 2 full dormers. The childrens block to the west is more
regular and T-plan with a roof gabled at ends and half-hipped to a central wing. The
eaves have decorated boards and a fine timber lattice verandah of a Regency character
overlooks the raised garden which originally had a parterre with a central fountain
which was designed by Repton and was a very early revival of a formal garden. A
rustic verandah is in the right angle between the central wing and the north end.
Renovations underway at time of survey (1985). The colonnade linking the west and
east blocks has a scantle slate roof and stone piers replacing the original rough
tree trunks. The entrance front has a semi-circular curve and a central stone
portico with battered rectangular piers with moulded capitals below an entablature
with a depressed pyramidal roof.
Interior The 1810 interior is largely intact. The panelled entrance hall has a
large stone fireplace with internal Gothick inglenooks with corbel seats and a timber
lintel with blind tracery. The dining room has a grained wainscot below trompe
Cloeil painting of blind Gothick tracery and numerous armorial bearings. The library
is panelled with a contemporary marble chimney and double doors lead into the
adjoining study which has a contemporary chimney piece and joinery. The contemporary
stair has elaborate Gothick balusters alternating with stick balusters. The
original heating system of hot air vents in marble panels survives in several rooms.
Hussey suggest that the Duchess of Bedford was the driving force behind the creation
of Endsleigh. A plaque in the stables (qv) states that she chose the site. The
house took 6 years to complete and the final account, dated 1816, of payment to
"Sundry Artificers" shows that Wyatville was paid £1,526.4s ll½d out of a total of
£4,046.13s 1d. Full documentation of the building of the house including
correspondence from Wyatville and Repton and monthly progress reports and accounts
exists in the Bedford Estate Papers in the D.R.O., Devon Letters L 1258/82.
Christopher Hussey, Country Life CXXX, 246; CXXX, 296.
Listing NGR: SX3910978596
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.