Knightshayes Court is a Victorian country house designed in 1869 by architect William Burges in the gothic revival style. This style copies medieval design with a romantic twist. Tour of the House
Burges dilly-dallied over finishing the house for several years and was fired by the owner John Amory. He then hired J. D. Crace, who completed the design in 1879. Changes were made to the elaborate decoration in the early 1900s by succeeding family members. Some has been restored.
The 50 acre garden has a notable plant collection that includes rare trees, shrubs, and flowers providing seasonal colour. The restored kitchen garden is organic and its produce is served in the restaurant. A waterlily pond, topiary, garden walks, and garden in the wood add to the park’s attractions.
The former stable block now houses visitor facilities and a small exhibition.
Family portraits and paintings are displayed in the house as well as the family furniture and china.
Screens Passage and Hall: Burges’s teak glazed screen; painted and stencilled timber roof and wall décor; corbel figures and painted bookcase by Burges.
Smoking Room: changed in 1902 from “gentlemen’s room”; in Edwardian style; oriental furniture; longcase clock; collection of miniature elephants.
Staircase: teak panelling; decorated groined wooden ceiling and walls; carved heraldic hounds; small stone gallery overlooks the hall; wooden screen in arch.
Bedroom Corridor: stencilled designs on walls by Crace.
Bathroom and Dressing Room: in Edwardian style.
Bedroom: late 18th century bed; Dutch mahogany wardrobe and corner cupboard; early 18th century Dutch marquetry chairs; French clock.
Boudoir: cedar panelling; wallpaper designed by Burges; painted ceiling by Crace; Dutch mahogany cupboard; early 1800s Swiss walnut writing bureau.
Burges Room: designed by Burges and decorated in early 2000s to that design.
Corridor: needlework hangings.
Landing: painted oak sideboard.
Exhibition Room: changing exhibitions on the house and the family.
Down the back stairs to:
Family Room: once a gun room; small exhibition related to the family; collection of apple-green Worcester porcelain dating from c1770.
Golf Room: served as a waiting room, business room, and a scullery; exhibition on Lady Heathcoat Armory’s golf career—in 1920s won the Ladies Open four times.
Billiard Room: carved stone corbels designed by Burges; original billiard table; redecorated in year 2000.
Dining Room: frieze, coffered ceiling, corbels with much redesign; set up as a breakfast room; early 19th century Welsh chestnut dining chairs.
Morning Room: much altered; painted ceiling by Crace; red velvet wall covering; panelling; octagonal oak table; brass chandelier; collection of family 16th and 17th century Italian majolica.
Screens passage: groined ceiling and leaf corbels by Burges; screen by Crace with stained glass; stencilled wall painting.
Library: Crace design of gothic walnut bookshelves; Burges designed ceiling; furnished as a sitting room; Indian carpet; George II mahogany chairs; late 18th century mahogany drum table; portraits.
Drawing Room: Burges designed large fireplace; satinwood cabinet; 1830s oak centre table; paintings.
Devon, South-west Counties
Tel. 0 1884 254 665
Open: house, mid Feb-last week Feb, Sat-Thu, 11am-4pm; mid March-end Oct, Sat-Thu, 11am-5pm; garden, same months and times as house but daily; some exceptions and extra opening times—check the NT website for exact details
National Trust property; restaurant; shop; plant centre; parking
Photos © by Barbara Ballard except corner of library courtesy
National Trust Photo Library
Go Back: [Top of Page] [Articles