Hartland Abbey & Gardens

Type:Historic House / Palace

Hartland, Bideford, North Devon, EX39 6DT

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Hartland Abbey & Gardens

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Built in 1159 as an Augustinian monastery, at the Dissolution Henry VIII gifted the Abbey to the Keeper of his Wine Cellar whose descendants live here today. Visitors to Hartland Abbey can experience not only stunning architecture and interiors, fascinating collections, beautiful gardens and walks but the warmth and friendliness found only in a cherished family home. Close family connections to Poltimore House and Clovelly Court nearby are evident. BBC Antiques Roadshow was filmed here recently. The impressive interiors span Medieval, Queen Anne, Georgian, Regency and Victorian periods. Of special interest are the three main Reception Rooms, the Alhambra Corridor by Sir George Gilbert Scott and the Gothic Library by Meadows with its Batty Langley fireplace. The circular table by Jupe dominates the Dining Room. Important paintings by artists including Reynolds and Gainsborough, furniture, porcelain, early photographs, a museum, documents from 1160 and changing displays of family memorabilia fascinate visitors. The ‘William Stukeley –Saviour of Stonehenge’ exhibition displays the many aspects of the life of an extraordinary 18thC ancestor. Much of the 50 acres of gardens and walks had been lost since the First World War. Since restoration, once again paths lead to woodland gardens, the Bog Garden and Fernery by Jekyll and the beautiful 18thC Walled Gardens. Here climbers, herbaceous, tender perennials and vegetables delight; glasshouses protect stunning displays. Carpets of primroses, historic daffodils, bluebells and wildflowers lead in spring to the restored woodland Summerhouse, the Gazebo and Blackpool Mill Cottage with its rocky beach, the film location for Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and Rosamunde Pilcher’s ‘The Shell Seekers’. Donkeys, black sheep and peacocks roam. Children’s Quiz. Five stunning wedding venues available. Holiday cottages to rent on the Hartland Abbey Estate. 1 mile from Hartland Quay and St. Nectan’s Church, the ‘Cathedral of North Devon’.


Road Directions

By Road:
Between Bideford and Bude off A39. From M5 jct 27, take A361 towards Barnstaple, then the A39 towards Bideford and Bude. Turn off A39 15 miles west of Bideford to Hartland (B3248). Abbey and gardens are between Hartland and Hartland Quay.

By Rail:
Nearest station is Barnstaple station. Buses run from Bideford and Barnstaple to Hartland village 1 mile from the Abbey. There is a lovely walk through The Vale (ask directions).

The nearest railway station is Barnstaple, which is 20 miles away.



  • Disabled Accessibility
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors


  • Café
  • On-Site cafe/restaurant/catering
  • Refreshments Available

Establishment Features

  • Available for wedding receptions
  • Cater for Corporate events
  • Dogs on Lead Only
  • Event venue
  • Gift shop
  • Licenced for Weddings & Civil Partnerships
  • Tea / Coffee Shop
  • Wedding Venue

Parking & Transport

  • Parking

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Guided tours
  • Guided tours by arrangement


Opening Times

Tearoom/Cafe, Gardens, Grounds & Beachwalk Opening Times 2020 (29 Mar 2020 - 4 Oct 2020)
Monday - Thursday11:00 - 17:00
Friday - SaturdayClosed
Sunday11:00 - 17:00
House Opening Times 2020 (29 Mar 2020 - 4 Oct 2020)
Monday - Thursday14:00 - 17:00
Friday - SaturdayClosed
Sunday14:00 - 17:00

* House 2pm-5pm. Last admission to house: 16:00.


  • Other Awards Historic Houses Association Friends Scheme 2017

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