Saturday, 9 April 2011

My Landmark of the Week
Silverton  Stables

Exterior, Silverton Park Stables, Devon

In 1837 Captain the Hon. George Francis Wyndham, RN unexpectedly found himself 4th Earl of Egremont. His uncle, the 3rd Earl, had failed to legitimise his natural heir by omitting to marry his son’s mother. Wyndham also inherited an estate at Silverton and set out to create a vast classical mansion on a scale to rival his cousin’s pile at Petworth. He planned a stable block to match.

The 4th Earl’s architect was J.T. Knowles (senior), a self-taught Reigate man and a believer in a patented metallic cement render. The mansion that sprang up at Silverton Park exploited this versatile material, using it to clothe double-height colonnades.

On a rise to the rear of the mansion, Wyndham charged Knowles with erecting an imposing block to house and display his carriages and provide stabling for his teams of horses and their grooms.

In 1845, with the stables in use but before the brick cadre could receive its coat of the famous patented cement, Wyndham died. The estate never regained its momentum. The contents of the mansion were auctioned off in 1892 and a few years later the house was demolished. The unfinished stable block was left as an imposing and romantic monument to the 4th Earl’s grandiose ambitions and was used in a desultory way for agricultural purposes. It turned out to be one of our most intractable projects, finally unlocked by the enthusiasm of one particularly loyal supporter.

You will stay mainly in the south range, with views of the rolling Devon countryside from a common room behind the giant portico. Bedrooms opening off staircases around the courtyard give a sense of collegiate life, yet we hope too that you still catch a sense of the equestrian as you enter through monumental gates.

This building is available for bookings for groups of 5, 7, 9, 11 or 14 people. For prices and further information please visit our New Landmarks page.
Despite its size we drove past without finding it on our first attempt. Plenty of room for children to run around safely and ideal space for al fresco dining.   When we did get there I took the following photos

This bedroom still has evidence of its original use as tack room

Sleeps: 14
Beds: 3S 3D III 

  • Solid fuel stove
  • Enclosed courtyard and open grounds
  • Adjacent parking
  • Dogs allowed

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