I visited Coleton Fishacre over the summer, and completely forgot I had a whole camera full of photos from my trip! I was particularly excited about my visit, because unbeknownst to me, the beautiful country home was built in the Jazz Age, and I had watched The Great Gatsby just the night before. It was amazing being able to put Gatsby’s world in context.
The home belonged to Rupert and Lady Dorothy D’Oyly Carte, who lived in the house until 1949. The design of the house was heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, with the vast gardens built to appear as an extension of the house.
Apparently when the National Trust took on the house, it was mostly empty, apart from a few pieces of furniture – it must be a pain having to source pieces for so many rooms! The interior of the house is very Art Deco, with a minimalist feel to it, which comes across most of all in the saloon. I think though I prefer the older style of interiors, like the Georgian house at Killerton, but it made a nice contrast to previous properties I had visited.
One of my favourite rooms (of course) was the library:
Fascinatingly, a large portion of the house belonged to the staff hired by the family, and visitors are allowed to view around these areas – I love being about to look “behind the scenes”. I was surprised by how nice some of the staff rooms actually were, though as you got deeper into these quarters, the rooms did get colder and darker.
It was a beautiful day, and in the hour or so we spent in the gardens, we only covered about half of what was accessible. If you leave the site, you can walk down right to the cliff edge and look out across the sea. With a picnic, it would be easy to spend a day in just the garden alone, among the many exotic plants kept there.
For anyone wanting more information, check out Coleton Fishacre’s page on the National Trust website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre/