Docton Mill

Docton Mill Gardens are gold medal award-winning gardens nestling within the stunning valley of Speke’s Mill on the Hartland Peninsula.The location is only 1000 metres from the coast, where possibly the finest waterfall in the South West, Speke’s Mill mouth is located. The gardens are open from March 1st until October 31 - 10.00am until 6.00pm serving light lunches, with speciality salads, and cream teas. The gardens have been created around the original millstream encompassing an exceptional bog garden, perennial borders, orchard and natural woodlands.

Highlights of the Garden include:

  • Spectacular display of narcissi in spring
  • River walks with displays of naturalised narcissi, bluebells and garlic
  • Superb bog garden as described in Rosemary Verey’s book ` Good Planting’
  • Wildlife pond and vegetable garden
  • Redesigned Summer Garden, new Stream Garden, Pond, Vegetable Garden and Nursery area.
  • Over 300 varieties of herbaceous perennials for sale

History of the gardens

Docton Mill and its adjoining leat, head weir and tailrace, have been traced back to Saxon times, probably before the Norman Conquest.

Extract from 'A millennium for a Mill' by N.S & I.D. Pugh suggests that

'A more likely date would be upwards of 150 years earlier, after the death of King Alfred in 901.By that time, the Royal manor of Harton would have been well established, inspiring confidence in the surrounding settled farms and promoting the new technology of water powered milling…'

The garden started in the 1930s, but fell into disrepair in the 1970s. 1980 saw the Mill renovated and the garden cleared with extensive planting, the creation of a new bog garden and borders and vast numbers of trees planted.

The start of the new Millennium saw developments including a new magnolia garden with large herbaceous borders, woodland and greenhouse area.

The garden theme is for all planting to blend into its natural surroundings offering variety throughout all the seasons.

Definitely a must to visit when staying at Yapham