The Garden House at Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton. PL20 7LQ will be open every weekend in February to enjoy the wonderful snowdrop collection, and the Tea Room will be serving a winter warmer menu.
The Garden House is the elegant former home of the vicars of Buckland Monachorum. Built in the early 19th century, the house accommodates the tearooms and offices.
The history of this 10-acre garden is closely entwined with that of Buckland Abbey and the local church. In 1305 the Bishop instructed the Abbot to build a house for the parish priest and this site was chosen. At the dissolution of the monasteries, the Abbot became the vicar of Buckland Monachorum and by the early 1700s, the vicarage consisted of a substantial 3-storey dwelling. The remains of this building, a tower with spiral staircase and a thatched barn, formerly the kitchen, are now the romantic ruins on the lower terrace in the walled garden.
A modern vicarage was built in the 1920s and The Garden House was sold as a private dwelling. The house came onto the market again just after the Second World War and was purchased by Lionel Fortescue, a retiring master at Eton, and his wife Katharine.
Lionel was the son of a Newlyn school painter and had a good eye for colour as well as being an exacting plantsman. Lionel and Katharine set about renovating and developing their garden whilst running a thriving market garden business, providing stock plants for growers in the Tamar Valley, and managing a herd of Jersey dairy cattle. Over the next 40 years the Fortescues created a garden which was – and continues to be – viewed as one of the finest in Britain.
By 1961 they had established the Fortescue Garden Trust, an independent registered charity, to which they bequeathed the house and garden to ensure the survival of this beautiful place for future generations. After their deaths in the 1980s ownership passed to the charity, which maintains the Fortescues’ lovely legacy.
You could stay nearby at: www.easthook-holiday-cottages.co.uk