Inside Killerton House

1 : Introduction to Killerton
2 : Killerton House and Gardens
3 : Killerton House Interior

4 : Killerton Chapel
5 : Broadclyst
6 : Clyston Mill

7 : Broadclyst Church
8 : Marker's Cottage


The following has been edited from information contained in the 'InfoBritain' and National Trust websites and other sources, with acknowledgement :

Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 7th Bt, planned to have a grand house on Dolbury Hill in Devon. Those plans fell through, and the existing modest 'temporary' house designed by John Johnson became the family home.

Following a fire in 1924 Sir Francis, 14th Baronet, rebuilt this area as an open space suitable for his large family.

In the twentieth century Killerton came to reflect a fundamental shift in social beliefs. Richard Acland, 15th Baronet, was a left wing MP who had trouble squaring his great fortune with his socialist beliefs.

In 1942 Sir Richard (pictured below), together with J.B. Priestly, had formed the Commonwealth Party in 1942, which advocated common ownership of land. Needing money for the party, a plan was made to sell Killerton. Sir Richard was held back in this by his wife, Anne, who felt responsible for the people whose livelihoods depended on the estate.

In the end a compromise was reached, whereby Killerton was given away free of charge as a working estate to the National Trust.

Sir Richard struggled on with his political career, eventually resigning over the government's decision to produce a hydrogen (atomic) bomb. Sir Richard later ended up as a school teacher.

A Liberal Party rally, attended by 19,000 people, was held at Killerton in 1925.

In the picture (left to right) Francis Acland, Leslie Hore-Belisha, Richard Acland and David Lloyd George.

               The Drawing Room (above and right) was
               re-modelled in the early 20th century by
               Sir Charles, 12th Baronet, as a place in
               which to entertain.

               The Dining Room (below) holds a number
               of family portraits.

Two of the pictures in the Dining Room:

Left :
Sir John Acland 1st Baronet Acland of Columb-John (c.1591-1647)
by Robert Walker (c.1600-London c.1659)
Category : Art / Oil painting
Date : circa 1644
Materials : Oil on canvas

Below :
Sir Hugh Acland, 6th Bt MP (1697-1728)
by the British (English) School.
Category : Art / Oil painting
Date : 1720
Materials : Oil on canvas

The Killerton House Kitchen Restaurant (above).

Both the Stables Café and Killerton Kitchen Restaurant serve home-cooked snacks
and meals using ingredients sourced from farms on the estate and local producers.

Originally the dining room, the Music Room (above and below) was so named after the chamber organ was installed for Lydia Acland, new wife of Sir Thomas, 10th Bt.

A bay window was added to make more room for their family of ten children.

In the 1920s and 1930s this room was the centre of family life. Sir Francis Acland and his family had breakfast and tea here and gathered after dinner for music and conversation.

Visitors may play the various instruments on display.
After a short musical interlude we ascend the nearby staircase to the first floor.

Painting (left and below) details :

Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 10th Bt MP (1787-1871)
by William Owen, RA (Ludlow 1769 - London 1825)
Category : Art / Oil paintings
Date : 1818 (presented)
Materials : Oil on canvas


On the upper (first) floor Killerton's Paulise de Bush costume collection is to be found. This annual exhibition centres on the most luxurious dresses and pieces from the collection.

The following information has been edited fom a description to be found on the relevant National Trust website.

During the Second World War Victor Anger's niece, Audrey Deacon, went to her uncle's home in Aston Tirrold to escape the bombing in London.

The Anger home was full of clothes dating back to the 18th century and Audrey started clearing it out to make room. Paulise de Bush, who lived nearby, saw Audrey throwing out period clothes (mainly 18th and early 19th century dresses) and bought many for her drama group.

Paulise became an enthusiastic collector of both theatrical and historical costumes, partly for use in her theatre productions. She also began exhibiting the costumes.

Paulise died in 1975. She had asked her theatre design friend, Atherton Harrison, to ensure the collection went to place a where it would be displayed. In 1977, Atherton found a home for Paulise's period costume collection at Killerton.

The Paulise de Bush Collection arrived at Killerton and put on display in 1978. Displays have been created every year since, with Atherton as consultant until her retirement in 1994.

The continually growing collection now includes over 10,000 items of clothing dating from 1690 to the 1970s as well as other items such as shoes, jewellery, fans, hats, samplers, fine lace and beadwork.

The collection curators put together annual exhibitions. Some of the year 2014 display items are shown here.

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