Combe Royal 4335

Kingsbridge, South Hams, Devon, England

Brief Description

Combe Royal is a Victorian house with a notable garden in a deep Devon combe. The lower garden, largely planted with giant rhododendrons, still exists, but little remains of the elaborate Victorian layout around the house.

History

The garden was featured in the Journal of Horticulture in 1871, when its orangery was described as growing varieties of orange, lemons, limes and shaddocks, unprotected except for reed mats in severe weather.

Features
  • Orangery
  • Description: This `orangery? is actually a large free-standing south-facing wall with an arcade of chamfered 4-centred arches of dressed slate. Inside the arches there are alternative courses of red brick stretchers and brick-on-edge.
  • House (featured building)
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • West Alvington
History

Detailed History

Combe Royal is a Victorian house with a notable garden in a deep Devon combe. The lower garden, largely planted with giant rhododendrons, still exists, but little remains of the elaborate Victorian layout around the house. The 1906 and 1907 Ordnance Survey maps show extensive woodland with a series of walks south-east of Coombe Royal, and a long drive from the lodge above Lower Combe Royal.

The garden was featured in the Journal of Horticulture in 1871, when its orangery was described as growing varieties of orange, lemons, limes and shaddocks, unprotected except for reed mats in severe weather. This ‘orangery' is actually a large free-standing, south-facing wall with an arcade of chamfered 4-centred arches of dressed slate. Inside the arches there are alternative courses of red brick stretchers and brick-on-edge. At the west end there is a blind ninth bay. This listed wall has survived, although it is now bare of plants. It is, as far as is known, the only one surviving in Britain, though there may have been one similar in Barnstaple.

The garden was renowned for the early study of citrus fruit. Combe Royal oranges were sent to Queen Victoria in the 1860s 'who afterwards sent her head gardener from Osborne for the purpose of enquiring on the spot as to the mode of culture.' (Fox. I 864)

The property has been owned by Devon County Council for some years and is used as an office by the Social Services Department. By 1999 the woodland walks were overgrown and the citrus wall was buried under brambles and undergrowth which were cleared away by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. There is a structural problem in the far east bay.

Period

  • Mid 19th Century
Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

Click Here

Owners

  • Devon County Council

    County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD
References

References