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Address: The Castle Hill Estate Office, Filleigh, Barnstaple, EX32 0RH, Tel: 01598 760 336 Ext 4 Fax: 01598 760 457 E: W:


Castle Hill Gardens :: Filleigh :: Click here for website

Castle Hill was built in 1730 by Hugh Fortescue, Lord Clinton, as his family home. In 1749 Hugh Clinton was raised to an earldom and became 1st Earl Fortescue of Castle Hill. The house we see today is almost identical to his early Palladian House, despite Victorian additions by Edward Blore in the 1840's and then a huge fire in 1934 which destroyed the centre block. The 5th Earl rebuilt the house in 1936 back to its earlier design. His daughter, Lady Margaret Fortescue, inherited the Estates in 1958 as his son and heir, Lord Ebrington, was killed at the Battle of El Alamein. Lady Margaret in turn gifted the Estates to her daughter, Eleanor, who married the 9th Earl of Arran and lives at Castle Hill. They have two daughters, Laura and Lucy. Lady Laura is married to James Duckworth Chad and Lady Lucy Fortescue Gore, is a teacher.

The House and Gardens look over the Grade I 18th Century park which is farmed in-hand with two dairy units. There are eight tenanted farms, mostly mixed farming, and 1,100 acres of woodlands.

Castle Hill Woodlands are FSC Certified in accordance with the standard of the Forestry Stewardship Council AC. All forest products are sold and sourced from a certified forest area.

The village of Filleigh has a wonderful community feel with a well-attended Primary School, thriving Village Hall, and St. Paul's Church, which was built by the Fortescue family. The Stags Head is a popular local pub, serving lunches and evening meals. The newly opened Northgate Inn at Aller Cross also serves meals from breakfast onwards.

Permissive public access is encouraged by the Estate from 1st February to 30th September, over two designated walks, starting from Filleigh Village Hall (¾ hour) and Filleigh Sawmill (½ hour). A picnic area is also provided near Filleigh Sawmill, where you will find the Filleigh Memorial Stones. These are three large boulders placed as a reminder of three young scouts from Manchester who were drowned in Filleigh during the 1952 flood which also devastated Lynmouth.

The House is open by appointment to groups of 15-30 people. They are able to see interesting family pictures and furniture, some of which were salvaged from the fire in 1934; however, much was destroyed. Lady Arran conducts the tours, which last one hour. Price on written application.

The Gardens are open every day, except Saturday, from February 1st. until the end of September, 11a.m. to 5 p.m. Cream teas will be available on Sundays and Bank Holidays, in the West Wing, from April 1st until August 27th.

By arrangement, come for a guided tour with a local garden expert. Coach parties are welcome by prior arrangement. Lunches and teas can also be provided, but need to be pre-booked - please contact Margaret Pine on 01598 760336 Ext 4.

Here you will see beautiful woodland gardens planted with magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas, many fine shrubs and trees on carpets of bluebells and primroses. Also visit our Millennium Garden with lavender edged herbaceous borders designed by Xa Tollemache, a Chelsea gold medal winner, and see the Topiary water Sculpture brilliantly designed and built by Giles Rayner.

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Address: The Castle Hill Estate Office, Filleigh, Barnstaple, EX32 0RH, Tel: 01598 760 336 Ext 4 Fax: 01598 760 457 E: W:


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