Taperley Park Gardens
Located in the parish of Westleigh, Taperley Park sits high on a hill overlooking the River Torridge and the North Devon coastline. Home to the Christie family for two centuries, Hector Christie is the current custodian of the estate.
The Taperley Park grounds are renowned for their beautiful gardens, particularly the Italian terraces, and include a lake, ponds, old woodland and a number of fields where Hector’s herd of Highland cattle graze. As well as a sizeable organic vegetable garden, Tapeley Park has one of the oldest permaculture gardens in the UK.
The gardens are open to the public six days a week (closed on Saturdays), from 10 am – 5pm. Visitors can explore the grounds and are free to bring their own picnic or pop in to the tea rooms for cream teas, drinks and snacks, prepared with ingredients fresh from the Tapeley gardens. Please note that tours of the house can also be arranged by prior appointment through the gift shop (minimum group size is 20). *Visitors are advised not to use Sat Nav to arrive at Tapeley (instead use B3233 Bideford – Instow road and look out for signs).
Although the house at Tapeley Park has existed in various forms dating back to the time of the Domesday Book, it was the arrival of Lady Rosamund in the 1880s that led to the ‘neo-classicising’ of the property, which gave the main house its distinctive look.
The visionary spirit of Lady Rosamund has been continued by her great grandson, Hector, who has been a champion of chemical free food production for many years and long before it became an established feature on grocery shop shelves.
Sustainability is a key theme on the Tapeley Park estate too. Over the years, Hector has given a home to ideas, people and projects that explore the sustainability theme and, alongside the permaculture garden, other projects that can be viewed at Tapeley Park include the straw bale house. The estate is also pesticide free,
Tapeley Park is a place where the present sits in harmony with the past, and the history room gives the visitor an informative and thorough summary of the estate’s evolution over the years. Meanwhile the grounds, with their Victorian-era lake (which underwent a major renovation in 2015) ‘old’ gardens and mature trees, project a sense of majesty that only time can bring.
**Copy and Images are the property of Taperley Park**
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