Ashley Court, Ashley, Tiverton, Devon
Small Regency country house (Grade II) with Victorian stable block and lodge cottage, apple lofts, walled garden and woodland walk. Originally built by Tiverton Wool merchant John Upcott the house was subsequently enlarged with the main building dating from around 1805. Ashley Court has an unusually well preserved service area and has remained largely unaltered since the last major re-decoration in the Edwardian era. The current owners are embarking on a long process of restoration. This is very much a work in progress which will give an insight into the working life of a small country estate in the early 19th century.
Original floors, fireplaces, plaster work and windows in most rooms and a magnificent decorative ironwork balcony spanning full front of the house. Many original cupboards, linen presses and other built in features in the service area with servants’ bells and huge stone sink and pump in the scullery. At the back of the property stands a substantial stable block built in 1871 retaining all its original fittings, still in use today. Extensive network of cobbled courtyards and pathways connect all the service areas and extend into the garden and even the driveway and woodland walk.
Produce from the ¾ acre walled garden once fed the whole household. Currently undergoing restoration you can see the remains of three greenhouses with their heating systems and cold frames, the ancient (and tottering) espaliered apple and pear trees and features such as water tanks and a ‘frost window’. The apple loft and root store is topped with a bell (you are welcome to ring it!). The woodland walk takes you on a path along the perimeter of the property overlooking the Exe river with a number of specimen trees planted in the grounds.
View the gatekeeper’s lodge (currently uninhabited), principal rooms and service area of main house including cellars, root store and apple loft, stables and courtyard, walled garden and woodland walk.
Fascinating afternoon and magnificent tea! … Lovely afternoon and a most interesting and informative tour … A superb Invitation To View, it was so unexpected … Fascinating House and outbuildings. Lovely family. History of house interesting. Great tea!
From Tiverton take the A396 signposted Bickleigh. After approx. 1 mile turn right at the small sign to Ashley and then immediately to your left, you will see the small white gatekeepers Lodge under the big oak at the bottom of the drive. Park at the white gatekeeper’s lodge and walk up the drive to the left (not Ashley Back Lane to the right), for those less able to walk, after seeing the lodge you can drive right up to the house.
From Exeter take the A396 to Tiverton. Turn left at the small sign to Ashley and then immediately left again, you will see the gatekeeper’s lodge under the big oak at the bottom of the drive. Park at the white gatekeeper’s lodge and walk up the drive to the left (not Ashley Back Lane to the right), for those less able to walk, after seeing the lodge you can drive right up to the house.
Tea and biscuits/cake in the garden or dining room depending on weather.
Children are very welcome! Photography is fine for personal use but please seek permission for publication.
Ground floor of house is accessible for those with restricted mobility. But please note there are some steep stairways in the service areas and uneven pathways in the garden.