About this property
Glenthorne House is classical Georgian in places and Gothic in others with a noticeable Tudoresque influence. The house has undergone extensive renovation work by the current owners, enhancing many of the buildings original features, whilst incorporating many modern conveniences, required of todays country houses.
Externally the house has ridged roofs and gables and a profusion of carved stone finials and pergola like turrets. There are groups of Tudoresque ornamental chimneys brought from London and delivered via the sea. The windows are wide bays with stone moulds set in stone mullions. The heavy oak front door with its flat Tudor arch has a matching stone surround.
In keeping with the Georgian era, all the rooms benefit from high ceilings and excellent proportions, as well as having an array of period features representing earlier and more modern eras, including handsome chimneypieces, curved oak doors with Gothic arch panels and elegant ceiling mouldings. The main oak staircase ascends in a gentle curve to a circular landing lit from above by an oval sky lantern.
The design of the house takes full advantage of the spectacular views with all the principal rooms facing seaward. The house is ideally suited to both formal entertaining and as a family home with the flow of the ground floor leading from the reception hall providing access via the drawing room to the sunlit morning room, the library and the extensive dining room with magnificent bay window. An inner hall passes the gun room and pantry and leads to the kitchen, boot room and utility room.
On the first floor, the principal bedroom with adjoining bathroom is situated above the library enjoying the same outstanding views down the coastline. There are six further bedrooms and three bathrooms, as well as a study with a gallery and large studio. On the second floor there are four further bedrooms (of which three are currently being used as storage) and a bathroom. The house also benefits from a lower ground floor providing cellars and a boiler room.
Home Farm has been fully restored to a high standard and comprises a large kitchen, dining room, sitting room, office, a principal bedroom with adjoining bathroom, two further bedrooms and bathroom, two further reception rooms and a delightful courtyard, stabling and storage to the rear.
Adjoining the main building is a charming stone barn with vaulted ceiling currently used as a gym and would equally be suited as a formal drawing room or party barn.
HISTORY – Glenthorne sits in one of the most spectacular spots in England, overlooking the Bristol Channel on the West Somerset/Devon border. Originally part of the Glenthorne Estate it was built by the Rev Walter Stevenson Halliday who had the fortunate position of being able to choose his landscape and then fit his house into it.
The driveway alone took almost a year to build and zig zags down for approximately 2.5 miles, dropping almost 700 feet, to where it meets the house, beyond which a formal terraced lawn extends to the garden edge and then falls steeply down to the sea. Stables were first built at Home Farm to house the working horses and then a track was cut to the sea and a landing stage made for materials coming in by water and only then could work start on the house.
Dating from 1831, Glenthorne House is built of pinkish local stone, ornated with Bath stone and roofed with Cornish slate, it is surrounded by outstanding scenery with the high hills and the moorland of Exmoor above it.
During the 1850’s and invisible from the house Home Farm was built. A substantial building with leaded windows and two wings which form an attractive courtyard and stables. To the west of the house a walled kitchen garden was created in almost an acre of gently sloping ground and at one end of the wall a Gardener’s Cottage was built with a path that winds down to a looking point
In 1872 Glenthorne House passed to Walter’s nephew William and his wife Maria and their four daughters. The pair had a healthy interest in scholarly and literary matters, and over the years that followed Glenthorne became known as the home of literature with many now famous novels being written from the first-floor study, including much of the renowned novel The English Patient.
- Glenthorne’s fabulous position enjoys panoramic views over the Bristol Channel towards Lynmouth, Porlock Bay and Wales. Deep combes with natural oak woods run down to the sea on this stretch of the north Devon coastline in sharp contrast to the heather moors at the top of the cliffs and rocky beaches at the bottom.
- The area is steeped in history with prehistoric field monuments and a tiny ancient Saxon church at Culbone. Nearby Porlock offers a range of good hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops and the delightful Porlock Weir lies 1.5 miles to the west of the town. Further west are Lynton and Lynmouth and to the south lies Exmoor national Park with its centre at Exford, some 12 miles away which offers a further range of shops, pubs and hotels
- Exmoor has an abundance of foot and bridle paths and is renowned for its recreational and sporting opportunities with some of the best shoots in the UK located only a short distance from Glenthorne plus hunting with the Devon and Somerset Stag hounds, Exmoor Foxhounds and Minehead Harriers. Fresh water fishing is available on the East Lyn, Ex, and Barie with sea fishing from Porlock Weir and Lynmouth. In addition, the north Devon beaches famous for their soft sand and rolling surf are easily accessible.
- Transport links to the area include the M5 motorway at Taunton and Tiverton. There is also a mainline railway station at Taunton with regular services to London Paddington in less than two hours. Airports at Exeter and Bristol provide regular flights to UK and international destinations. The property is also accessible by helicopter.
- GARDEN AND GROUNDS – The grounds include a series of terraced formal lawns to the front and side of the house, offering the perfect platform to admire the coastline and play croquet. In addition, other gardens have been sympathetically designed to reflect the landscape by intermingling the wild and the tame. The water garden follows the combe with its busy stream up the valley from the beach to the stone garden with its banks planted with a mixture of spring flowers, ferns and shrubs linked by mown grass pathways and a series of footbridges.
- Behind the house a secret garden sits high on the hillside and is centred around a fabulous tulip tree as well as a colourful rose pergola and ornamental trees. Below, double doors lead to the formal walled garden with a potting shed and greenhouse. The walled garden consists of vegetable borders and orchard.
- A number of grass paths weave within the woodland allowing dramatic walks within your own land and lead to viewing points where the outstanding views and scenery can be observed in private.
- The house is protected by some 77 acres of gardens, home paddocks and predominantly mixed deciduous woodland, all of which the privacy and character of Glenthorne. The main paddock has a wooden shelter which is currently the home of llamas.
- This part of the Southwest is favoured with a large number of excellent state and private schools, including Blundells in Tiverton, West Buckland School near Barnstaple and Taunton School, Kings College and Queens College Taunton.
- Services: Glenthorne is serviced by a private water supply, private electricity, supplied by generators on site, and private drainage.
- Directions: Directions: (EX35 6NQ). Follow the A39 in a westerly direction passing through Minehead and Porlock. Continue up Porlock Hill towards Lynton for approximately 7 miles. Pass the County Gate information centre on the Somerset/Devon border and follow the road for a further ½ mile. The entrance to Glenthorne will be found on the right hand side of the road just before reaching signs to Ashton Farm. The entrance to the drive comprises an open gateway with the stone drive leading northwards. Porlock 7 miles, Lynmouth 5 miles, Exford 12 miles, M5 motorway at Taunton Junction 25, 36 miles (London to Paddington from Taunton in under 2 hours). (All distances and time approximate)
- EPC Exempt
- Tenure: Freehold
- Council Tax Band: H