National Trust Fans
As you already know I love the National Trust and am a proud member! It doesn’t matter that I’m only 28 – I save lots of money on car parks, coastal walks and trips out to see historical houses and beautiful gardens. When I moved to Devon I was excited to think about all the new National Trust properties I could visit and the new places I could explore with my membership. Luckily, like Cornwall, Devon has a tonne of NT properties, estates, gardens and coastline to explore so I will be kept busy!
We chose to go to Killerton Estate for our first NT adventure in Devon. We were drawn to Killerton, not only as it is quite close to where I live, but also because the grand 18th century house looked stunning and I wanted to see it in person and explore it’s large surrounding gardens. Killerton is located in the village of Broadclyst and isn’t far from the centre of Exeter. It’s pretty easy to reach and a lots of ample parking (free for NT members).
The Killerton Estate has been owned by the National Trust since 1944. It was given to the NT by Sir Richard Acland who decided to give it away based on his political beliefs. There’s lots of information about how this happened and the circumstances that preceded his decision inside the house and you can write a note on whether you would do the same as Richard if you had been in the same position. People are encouraged to write their thoughts on a tag and place on the ‘decision tree’.
Inside the house you can look around various rooms full of history and 18th – 20th century costumes. I particularly enjoyed the library which was full of books. Here we got talking to one of the NT volunteers and he told us how many of the books had been donated by local people. He also told us all about a couple of groups of children from schools in Kent who were evacuated to live in the house during the war. The volunteer directed us to some photo albums which depicted the evacuees experiences of staying at the house. He seemed very knowledgeable and interested to share his love of the house.
We weren’t able to visit all of the period rooms on show in the property due to some maintenance works that were being carried out (they are apparently fixing the leaky roof). Whilst this was a bit of a shame, the building works and scaffolding outside didn’t dampen the beautifulness of the houses stunning exterior and as we are local, I know we can visit again once the maintenance has been completed. It gives us another excuse to go back! I would like to see the annual fashion exhibition which is due to return in 2018.
After looking around the house, and entering ourselves for the chance to win the NT raffle, we went outside to explore the gardens. The Georgian house is surrounded by 2400 acres of woods, parkland, orchards and farmland (no mean feet to walk around I can imagine!)
It was so lovely to walk around the paths adorned with tress full of autumn coloured leaves and the low sunshine of late October. We walked up the hillside where we found the Iron Age hill fort and discovered some amazing views towards Dartmoor. You could see pretty far out over the fields and gorgeous countryside – my pictures really don’t do it justice!
We continued our countryside walk, collecting fresh conkers, and made our way to the Chapel. What a stunning building this was from the outside. We went inside and it was small, peaceful and had some lovely stained glass windows to admire.
We walked back to the entrance of Killerton and had a quick look in the shop before leaving. It was nice to see the Christmas display of gifts and decorations – made me feel a tad festive, although it still feels too early to think about all that!
Next stop, another National Trust property, Clyston Mill.
Ever been to Killerton? What did you think?