Hartland Abbey and Gardens

History of the Abbey

Hartland Abbey was founded in 1157 in a narrow, wandering valley running from the wild and precipitous Atlantic coast. It was dissolved in 1539 having survived longer than any other monastery in the country. Henry VIII made a gift of the Abbey to the Sergeant of his wine cellar, William Abbott. The house has descended to the present owners Sir Hugh and Lady Angela Stucley through a series of marriages and remains a lived-in family home.

Attractions

Beautiful informal gardens
Mediaeval, Queen Anne, Georgian, Regency and Victorian decoration
Museum, Dairy and Small Shop
Woodland Walk to Atlantic Cove
Peacocks, Donkeys, Bantams, Black Welsh Mountain Sheep
Children’s Quiz
Homemade Cream teas

The Garden

Gertrude Jekyll’s winding paths lead through woodland gardens of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, and hydrangeas to the Bog garden, the recently restored Victorian Fernery and the 18C Walled Gardens. The woodland walk, carpeted with bluebells in spring leads to the newly restored Gazebo and a spectacular Atlantic cove with views of Lundy Island.

The House

Contains important pictures, furniture and porcelain collected over many generations including portraits by Reynolds and Gainsborough and furniture by Hepplewhite and Chippendale. The Museum contains family memorabilia and early documents from 1160AD.