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Please check with garden owners or their website to confirm current dates open All year round; Dawn to dusk.
Only by appointment
The hall is open when not in use.
£2 donation per person.
Conference centre facilities. New access ramp for disabled to Dartington Hall. B&B, Bar, restaurant and light refreshments available.
Impressive grass terraces, woodland walks, wild flower meadows and a dry-landscape Japanese garden New access path with a new sculpture by internationally recognised sculpture Peter Randall-Page.
Accommodation (incl B&B) is available within the Medieval Courtyard at Dartington
Durant Arms, Totnes
The Old Forge, Totnes
The White Hart offers fine food
The White Hart' within the gardens, offers fine food
Cott Inn, Dartington
Tally Ho!, Littlehempston
Dartington-1 mile Totnes-2 miles
The Gardens at Dartington Hall are steeped in history, a monument to the vision and enterprise of the great families who have owned it.
The tournament ground or Tiltyard, reputed to be mediaeval in origin, stands as a sunken lawn and was much restored during the second quarter of the last century. The South West side of the Tiltyard is flanked by a series of grassy banks, each with a flat terrace stepping up to a row of ancient Chestnut trees; here Henry Moore's reclining figure quietly spends her days. A lawn, three more terraces, and a row of twelve Irish yew trees, fondly known as the twelve apostles, separate this area from the 14th century Hall, standing off to the North East side of the Tiltyard.
Still evolving, this modern garden set within an ancient landscape, is famed for its quiet walks, great vistas and spring flowers and summer meadows. The Japanese garden provides somewhere quiet for the visitor to sit and contemplate. The garden also features some granite swans as well as a bronze donkey.
It was John Holand, the half brother to King Richard II, who, in the 1390's, created a mediaeval Manor house on the hillside overlooking the river Dart. Thereafter the property shuffled between the Crown and a number of individual owners until 1559 when it was bought by Sir Arthur Champernowne, Vice-Admiral of the West under Elizabeth I, a man of energy, ambition and fearless self-reliance. His successors lived at Dartington Hall for over three hundred years.
On purchasing the estate in 1925, Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst - she was the mother of Michael Straight the American who spied for the Soviet Union - set about the task of creating the garden set within this ancient landscape experiment which is, 'Dartington'. Avray Tipping acted as garden advisor from 1925-1930, a time when the hall itself was restored from a ruin. During the 1930's and up until the out-break of war, Beatrice Farrand, a noted American designer, acted as consultant advisor. She was responsible for the courtyard, which is the only example of her work outside the USA. After WWII Percy Cane became advisor and he went on to 'open up' the outer reaches of the garden.