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All About Killerton House

Date: 20th February 2019
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Author: Sarah Twist
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Publisher: Darwin Escapes
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Park: Hawkchurch Resort & Spa
Local Area


Enjoy beautiful landscape gardens, endless parkland and a wonderful Georgian family home at the Killerton House in Devon

The Killerton House is a National Trust property and is expertly kept, with over 6,000 acres of varying landscapes throughout the estate, including woodland, parkland, working farmland, orchards and hidden cottages. The beautiful 18th Century house was only meant to be a temporary home, while the Acland’s waited for their grand home to be built, but they fell in love with Georgian family home and it’s easy to see why.


The History of Killerton House

In 1778 Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, known as the 7th Baronet, commissioned architect John Johnson to build him a house, one which he would knock down once his ‘grand house’ was completed. That ‘grand house’ was never built, Killerton House was completed in 1779 and Sir Thomas loved Johnson’s creation he lived in it full-time.

Over the centuries there were various changes made to Killerton House, from turning the entrance hall into a large open space after a destructive fire, to changing the dining room into the music room. However, the Long Corridor, with its shallow domes, has been left untouched, along with the entrance on the south front, with its pediment supported by columns.
Sir Thomas wanted to build a house and garden, on an exceptional landscape at Killerton in Devon, which reflected his and his family’s position and importance in high society.


The Chapel at Killerton House

Visit the picturesque chapel, where the grounds are beautifully kept and are the perfect place for those who seek comfort and quiet reflection.

The chapel was built in 1841, Sir Thomas enlisted architect CR Cockrell, who was known for his classical style, but reluctantly agreed to recreate the Norman-style St Joseph of Arimathea chapel of Glastonbury, with a few changes inside. Inside the pews face each other, rather than the altar at the front which was unusual for an English church, this meant the congregation could all see each other. As a very religious family, who were very devout in their beliefs, Sir Thomas was setting a seat of benign patriarch for himself. However, he was sometimes unorthodox, inviting the anti-slavery campaigner Samuel Crowther to speak at the chapel, Crowther later became the first black bishop.

Up until the 1960’s, the chapel bell would ring out to call the men to work every morning at Killerton House, Devon.


The Bear’s Hut

Out in the landscape, nestled between the trees, lays a curious structure at Killerton House, known as the Bear’s Hut. It was built in 1808 as a surprise gift for Sir Thomas’ wife Lydia. It was originally used as a summer house, the hut has a thatched roof and a breathtaking stained glass window, which was created from pieces collected by family members during their travels. During the 1860’s the hut gained its name by being used to have a black bear called Tom, brought from Canada to Killerton House by Gilbert, the 12th Baronet’s brother.


Killerton House Events

As Killerton House is a National Trust property there is a whole calendar of events to enjoy and endless places to explore on the estate.

Discover the rooms inside the beautiful Killerton House, that exceed all Sir Thomas’ expectations for him to make it his family home in Exeter, Devon. Head to the second floor to see the impressive Fashion Collection, which is home to over 20,000 pieces, with items from the 18th and 19th Century, as well as high-end 20th Century items, including pieces from Chanel. The collection is also home to a beautiful sleeved waistcoat, which dates back to 1690.

Venture outside to follow the winding paths, take in the far-reaching views or find the wonderfully quirky features, such as the ice house.

Killerton House events are provided by the National Trust and therefore the estate is home to endless family fun, from chocolate egg hunts at Easter, to a whole range of arts and crafts workshops throughout the year.


Opening Times & Prices

Killerton House and Estate is open every day: 10am – 5pm. Please check the website for the most up-to-date information.

Ticket Type Cost
Adult £13.60
Child £6.80
Family £34

Enjoy an interesting and family fun day out at the beautiful Killerton House, where you can learn centuries of history about the picturesque landscape.


Ownership at Hawkchurch Resort & Spa

Explore Killerton House and more attractions in Devon, at your own pace when you become an owner at Hawkchurch Resort & Spa, our beautiful 5 star resort in Axminster, Devon.

Our first class facilities include our Hydrotherapy Pool, with jets causing a soothing wave motion and it’s heated to a higher temperature to help increase blood flow and release muscle tension. We also have a fantastic state of the art gym for all your workout needs, including cardio machines, free weights and a separate yoga room. Our Ezina Spa offers relaxing Aromatherapy Associates treatments, from full body massages to rejuvenating facials, as well as Jessica Nails hand treatments. Relax and feel the daily stresses slip away as you take advantage of our spa facilities, including a steam room and Hammam-style sauna. After all that relaxing, indulge in a beautiful meal at our Bistro restaurant, which serves delicious light lunches and mouth-watering main meals and decadent desserts. Hawkchurch is home to a wide range of holiday homes for sale in Devon, all with large open plan living spaces, fully fitted kitchens and sumptuous bedrooms.

For more information call our dedicated Ownership Team on 01745 858010 or talk to an advisor via our Live Chat service


To keep up to date with everything Hawkchurch, follow us on Twitter and make sure to like and follow us on Facebook for all the latest information.

Photo Credits: Alison Day, Gerry Labrijn

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