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HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

Lupton was recorded as 4 acres (1.6 hectares) of woodland in the Domesday survey (1086). Little evidence survives for the development of the landscape up to about 1760, but the remnants of a possible formal layout have been identified to the west and south of the present house (Debois 1996). Evidence of field boundary banks, ridge and furrow, and quarrying has been traced within the park, indicating its pre-ornamental phase. By 1765 Lupton had been acquired by Charles Hayne, who served as High Sheriff in 1772. Hayne extended an existing house adjacent to a cross roads in about 1770 to form the core of the present mansion. The roads which crossed at the south-west corner of the House ran from Brixham to the Dart ferry at Kingswear, and were not finally stopped-up until the 1790s. Hayne sold the estate to Mr Justice Francis Buller, whose family owned neighbouring Churston Court, in 1788. Created a baronet in 1789, Buller began a programme of planting and landscape improvement, which probably continued work set in hand by Hayne. The Reverend Swete visited Lupton in 1793, praising the effect of the wooded valleys which ascend from the south and west fronts of the House and the wide views of Tor Bay from the upper slopes of the park. In 1804 Lupton House and the surrounding grounds were let for seven years, and no further improvements appear to have been made until the 1820s. Account books and the Tithe map (1839) reflect the early 19th century development of the landscape which included further extensive tree planting. Sir John Buller Yarde Buller (created Lord Churston, 1858) commissioned George Wightwick to make alterations to the House in about 1840. At the same time formal gardens, terraces and an aviary were constructed to the south and east of the House, and a new south drive was laid out, and cedars and pines planted in the park. Further remodelling of the House was undertaken in about 1860 by Anthony Salvin, but by this time the landscape, as shown on the 1869 Ordnance Survey map, had achieved essentially its present form. Severely damaged by fire in 1926, Lupton House was subsequently rebuilt.

The estate was occupied by the US Army during the Second World War and much mature timber in the park and woodland was felled. Following the War a long-projected new house, Lupton Park House, was constructed for Lord Churston in the park south-west of the 18th century mansion to the designs of Oswald Milne. The original mansion was initially let as an hotel, and is today occupied by a school. The Lupton Estate was divided and sold in November 1960, the mansion, park and new house being sold to Mr Rowland Smith of neighbouring Coleton Fishacre. The walled garden was already run as a commercial nursery and was sold separately, while the Churston family retained Churston Mill Field to the north of the House. The estate today (1998) retains the pattern of ownership established in 1960, with the 20th century house and associated parkland remaining in private occupation. The present owner is (1998) undertaking a programme of restoration and consolidation which will re-establish areas of woodland damaged during the War and late 20th century storms.

Site timeline

1926: Severely damaged by fire in 1926, Lupton House was subsequently rebuilt.

1939 to 1945: The estate was occupied by the US Army during the Second World War and much mature timber in the park and woodland was felled.

After 1945: Lupton Park House, was constructed for Lord Churston in the park south-west of the 18th century mansion.

1960: The Lupton Estate was divided and sold in November 1960.

People associated with this site

Architect: Anthony Salvin (born 1799 died 1881)

Architect: George Wightwick (born 1802 died 1872)

Features

hedge

Traditional hedge banks.

plantation

drive

Feature created: 1700 to 1899

A series of 18th and 19th century carriage drives.

terrace

Terraced gardens to the east, south-west and north-west of Lupton House.