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

The following paragraphs have been edited, with grateful acknowledgement, from an article in 'Britain Express'.
The full website article, edited by David Ross,
may be accessed here .

The Killerton estate is first mentioned in 1242. It is believed that the name originated with a family named Kildrington.

In the Elizabethan period the estate was sold to the Acland family, who owned the adjoining property at Columb John. In the late 18th century Sir Thomas Acland, the 7th Baronet, decided to move the family seat to Killerton.

Acland asked James Wyatt to design a new house, but he did not get along with Wyatt and dismissed him in favour of a relative unknown, named John Johnson, who was instructed by Sir Thomas to build a temporary residence until a more elaborate home could be built on the hill above the site.

As it turned out, Sir Thomas's son died shortly after in 1778, and Sir Thomas abandoned plans for a second mansion. The 'temporary' house was remodelled and expanded several times over the subsequent centuries, but it is essentially the same building that Johnson planned.

The interior has a wonderful mix of period styles, from Georgian to Edwardian, with displays of family portraits and a 'hands-on' music room where visitors are encouraged to play the grand piano and pipe organ.

Harriet Acland (1749-1815) was the daughter of the Earl of Ilchester. In 1770 she married Major John Acland. When Acland was sent to America in 1776 to command the 20th Foot Regiment, Lady Harriet accompanied him.

Major Acland was gravely wounded and captured in the second Battle of Saratoga in 1777. The pregant Lady Harriet, when hearing the news, travelled through the night and her small party crossed the Hudson River in darkness to the enemy camp to appeal for her husband's release.

Lady Harriet nursed her husband while he was held by the Americans and they were later released. By January, 1778 he had recovered enough to return to England.

Lady Harriet gave birth to their son John during the voyage home. Major Acland died later that year after he caught a bad cold while fighting a duel in defence of American honour.

The estate is immense, stretching to over 6400 acres, including working farms and 240 cottages. Of these, almost 30 are of medieval origin, including Marker's Cottage. The cottage boasts an excellent medieval painted screen with an unusual mix of secular and religious themes.

There is an 18 acre hillside garden within 4000 acres of woods, originally created at the time the house was built by Scotsman John Veitch.

Above the house is a "clump" or hillfort dating to the Iron Age. The hill, also known as Dolbury, is reputed in folklore to be protected by the Killerton Dragon, which every night flies between Killerton and Cadbury Hill to keep safe a hidden treasure.

A short distance from the house is Killerton Chapel, erected as a private family chapel for Sir Thomas Acland and his wife Lydia in 1841 and now used for regular concerts in the summer months.

The design is said to have been inspired by the Norman Lady Chapel at Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset.

There are three more National Trust properties on the Killerton Estate i.e. Marker's Cottage (a 15th century cob and thatch dwelling), Clyston Mill (an 18th century restored water mill) and Budlake Old Post Office Room (the old village shop and post office for the area with its attached laundry, pigsty and garden).

The estate at Killerton, as well as that at Holnicote, was given to the National Trust by Sir Richard Acland, whose political beliefs precluded his ownership of such a vast tract of land.

INFORMATION provided on this website has been obtained and edited from a number of other websites and documents.
Particular thanks and acknowledgement is given to the National Trust, 'Britain Express' (Editor : David Ross) and 'Wikipedia'.

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