The Lost Houses and Gardens of the West Country – Unwrapped and Unpacked. COURSE FULL


Residential course

Mike Hope

15 August 2021 to 20 August 2021

£465 Non-residential fee (includes supplement), £780 Single bedroom or shared occupancy, £890 Double bedroom single occupancy

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This course is part of Dillington Discovery Summer week.

Have you ever travelled through wonderful rolling countryside, past gate-lodges, rusting railings, the remains of landscaped parks, former estate villages and had that sense of something missing? Well, even allowing for what is now as little as fifty years for both the old and new wealthy elites to heal some of the scars of normally 150 years, but up to 500 years, of deliberate retrenchment, change and development, the evidence is still all around you.

The lectures will give an introduction and overview to the subject and place the region in a national context. Following on from this we will look in turn at a survey of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Case studies will include such fabled properties, from earlier destructions, as Eastbury Park, (designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and rivalling Castle Howard in size) ­­­­Hext Hill House at Low Ham, (a Tudor mansion which would have rivalled Montacute in terms of size and magnificence).

The last part of the course will deal with private houses and estates which have never or almost never opened and therefore are in one sense lost. Truly they are the Private Houses of the West Country (e.g. Melbury, Tregothnan, Stavordale Priory, Castle Hill, Crichel and Came House).

The visits will take in intact houses and gardens which have acquired parts or whole buildings from other sites, splendid mansions which reveal their previous incarnations and their frequently monastic origins, to the sites of houses where often only mounds in the fields, gate lodges, park walls, churches, farms etc. survive as a witness to what has long gone. These sites will include Forde Abbey, Montacute, Low Ham, Orchard Portman and Dillington itself.

There will be a supplement of £200 for this course towards the cost of transport and entrance fees.

Non-resident fee £465 includes supplement.

Tutor information

Mike Hope author, lecturer, curator and designer spent over twenty-five years lecturing and holding senior management posts in four Universities (Staffordshire, Portsmouth, Nottingham Trent and Plymouth) and has spent nearly thirty years delivering Summer School Programmes. He has lectured around the world and was a founder board member of The European Academy of Design. Alongside an extensive publication list, he has researched, designed and curated many exhibitions. He is a lecturer for Travel Editions Art & History Abroad programme. He is also currently a member of the Exeter Diocesan Advisory Board and advisor on stained glass to the Diocese of Exeter.

Covid information

Dillington House wishes to reassure everyone that we are working closely with Somerset County Council to ensure every measure is being taken to make Dillington House a safe place for everyone.

All course participants will be sent further guidance prior to the course date.

Dillington House is following Government guidelines and adhering to new guidance including local or national lockdowns.

All places booked can be transferred or refunded in the event this course is cancelled. Individuals who are affected by local lockdowns will be able to transfer to an alternative course. All other terms and conditions apply.