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30 April 2019Shilstone House & Devon rural archives
10 June 2019Visits to 'Three Hares' Churches on Dartmoor - with Dr Sue Andrew
16 July 2019 Winsford Hospital & Walled Gardens, Hallwill, Devon

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Shilstone House & Devon rural archives
Tuesday 30 April 2019

In 1997 Lucy & Sebastian Fenwick stumbled across a Grade II listed farmstead in the heart of the South Hams then known as Shilston Barton.  Intrigued by the remains of a designed landscape and clear signs of an important early house, they purchased the site and embarked on a lengthy project.  The landscape soon began to give up its secrets revealing extensive building work from the last thousand years.  Two sets of double terraces, medieval fishponds, sunken lanes and ha-ha’s as well as an early walled garden and a courtyard of fine barns separated from the main house by a crenelated curtain wall all hinted to the importance of Shilstone. 

The discovery of the only surviving 17C water theatre and associated gardens confirmed their suspicions and revealed an incredible connection with Hampton Court Palace.  Archaeological excavations in the surrounding landscape were also fruitful and revealed a prehistoric presence on the site, possibly dating to the Neolithic, but undoubtedly of second century BC date into the Roman period.  The project also uncovered the foundations of a substantial medieval house shown through documentary sources to be the former Domesday manor of ‘Silfestana’.

Our guide will be Abi Gray, the Resident Archaeologist at Shilstone. 

  Click here to download application form

Max 25 people - £35 per person, non-members £38                                                              

Cheque made payable to ‘The Arts Society Honiton’ or cash to

Elizabeth Gray 37 Glanvill Way Honiton EX14 2GD -  0780 3637919

To include coach fare, guided tour of Shilstone House & Gardens, Introduction to Devon Rural Archives, morning coffee, buffet lunch and cream tea