A Thousand Year History of Thorn House & Garden in Wembury. 
An illustrated talk by John and Eva Gibson on Thursday, 5th May, 2022 at 7pm in The Devon Rural Archive.

Thorn, or the Manor of South Wembury as it was previously known, is located on the banks of the River Yealm, and has an extensive history. It is thought that the site of the present house has been occupied for approximately 1000 years. We know that the property was closely linked with Plympton Priory and in particular with the foundation, in 1121, of the Augustinian monastery, but there may also be a connection with the Priory’s pre-conquest predecessor. Since the 19th  century a succession of interesting people have owned Thorn, and have capitalised on its location, making it a place for celebration and entertainment. In 1920 the property was bought by William Arkright, the great grandson of the prominent industrialist who carried out extensive building works and remodelled the 10-acre garden; he is responsible for much of the design and planting that we see today. The maritime climate enabled many tender plants to flourish in Arkright’s design, and consequently Thorn became home to an outstanding collection of rare trees and shrubs.

Eva and John Gibson, who are both Neurologists, have owned Thorn since 1981 and under their stewardship the garden and plant collection have continued to develop. 

Picture above: aerial view of Thorn House and garden on the banks of the River Yealm. 

Tickets are £5 each, and must be purchased in advance.  
A Season Ticket to attend all 11 lectures in our 2022 programme is also available in our online shop.  
Please note that payments are non-refundable. 

Doors open at 6:30pm for complimentary refreshments and a chance to explore the Archive.
Before visiting the Archive, please see our current guidance about attending face-to-face events during the pandemic

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Where we are

Devon Rural Archive, Shilstone, Modbury, Devon, PL21 0TW

Call us: 01548 830832

Email us: nicola@shilstonedevon.co.uk