Shilstone House has a remarkable and extensive history, which the DRA is studying as part of our ongoing archaeological project into the history, significance and development of Devon’s manor houses, and their landscapes.
A combination of excavation and geophysics has revealed evidence of occupation from later prehistory to the present day. The earliest known dwelling on the site was an Iron Age farmstead, within an ovoid enclosure, in use from approximately the 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD. A high-status stone hall house was in place by the 14th century and, extended in both the 16th and 17th centuries. This house, however, was demolished in the early 19th century and replaced by a courtyard mansion that was heavily truncated only a few decades later. In the last sixteen years the owners, Lucy and Sebastian Fenwick, have sympathetically restored the house. The grounds are equally impressive and include formal gardens of lawns, terraces and a medieval walled garden, as well as the only known, and nationally important, 17th century Italianate water theatre and associated water gardens,
On Tuesday 24th August 2021 at 2pm, our resident archaeologist, Abi Gray, will lead a guided tour of Shilstone House and gardens. Guests will explore the history of the site through its surviving archaeology and rare architectural features before seeing the results of the restoration, including the recently completed panelled drawing room.
The tour will start at the DRA, and will last approximately one hour and thirty minutes before returning to the archive for tea and cake.
Tickets cost £19 and must be purchased in advance. Booking closes on Friday 20th August 2021.
To purchase a ticket please call us on 01548 830832 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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