Have archaeologists found a lost mansion of Devon at Killerton?

Archaeologists working with the National Trust’s Killerton estate believe they may have found the location of the lost Killerton mansion that was started in 1775, but never completed.

The lost house was re-discovered almost by accident. Rumours of the mansion, three times bigger than the surviving building at Killerton and more befitting of the Acland family’s wealth and status, have circulated for many years – but no-one has been able to find where the building work was located. All that has remained of the mansion are designs by renowned architect, James Wyatt, a few surviving records and three theories about why it was never completed nearly 240 years ago. Continue reading…

Killerton to sparkle this Christmas with Brothers Grimm fairy tales


A spell has been cast over Killerton this Christmas. For the first time, the National Trust property will be transformed into classic fairy tales with a festive twist from Saturday 19 November.

Each year to celebrate the start of Christmas, the staff step out of their day jobs and get into character for a specially-commissioned photoshoot with an added sprinkle of festive sparkle. This year, they portrayed Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood. Continue reading…

National Trust puts cider apples at its core

George Holmes, Area Ranger in South Somerset, planting a cider tree from the collection (c) Steve Haywood

An internationally important collection of cider apples, with almost 300 different varieties, has been given to the National Trust and will be planted in orchards at Montacute House, Barrington Court, Tyntesfield and Glastonbury in Somerset, Golden Cap in Dorset, Westbury Court Garden in Gloucestershire, Killerton in Devon and Brockhampton in Herefordshire. Continue reading…

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe brings a festive chill to Killerton

lionwitch&wardrobe6Killerton House will throw open its festive doors on Saturday 21 November to unveil its much anticipated Christmas transformation inspired by ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, by C.S. Lewis.

The National Trust property, just outside of Exeter, invites visitors to step through the wardrobe and embark on a festive journey to experience the magic of this Christmas classic. Continue reading…

The summer rain adds some sparkle to Killerton cider

Pictures by Steven Haywood of Killerton's apples for Apple Week celebrations on 17th & 18th October at Killerton - Pictured is Emma Wakeham and Killerton's latest edition to the team 'Puppy springer spaniel TOBY! having fun in the orchard

Pictures by Steven Haywood of Killerton’s apples for Apple Week celebrations on 17th & 18th October at Killerton – Pictured is Emma Wakeham and Killerton’s latest edition to the team ‘Puppy springer spaniel Toby having fun in the orchard

August was a rainy month for tourists and locals but there was one upside to the downpours however; the wet weather has made for a bumper crop of apples in the National Trust orchards at Killerton and the trees are heavy with fruit ready to be made into cider.

2014 was a memorable summer, but an apple crop to forget, producing only 3,000 litres of cider. But this year the trees are so full that the National Trust hopes to double its production.

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Killerton badger vaccination project shows potential

The National Trust revealed today that it had slashed the costs of vaccinating badgers during a four year project at its Killerton estate in Devon, set in the heart of one of the country’s bovine TB hotspots.

The aim of the project, funded by the conservation charity, was to demonstrate that the vaccination of badgers at an estate-wide scale can be made practical and cost-effective. This has meant that the National Trust can play an important part in reducing the exposure of cattle to bovine TB in wildlife, which has had a devastating impact across the farming community.

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The F-word – how fashion has shaped the world

f-word3From a 150-year-old crinoline to a 60s mini, garments have shaped not only their owners but also the entire face of fashion. Killerton’s latest costume exhibition ‘The F-Word: the changing language of fashion’ opens on Saturday 14 February and explores how fashion has responded to the latest innovations and made its mark across the centuries.

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Killerton canters on with conservation grazing

1_Killerton conservation grazing_Dartmoor ponies_credit Ellie Preece sm

This week a herd of 10 Dartmoor ponies took up temporary residence on an extinct volcano at Killerton estate near Exeter.

Dolbury Hill is the tree-lined backdrop to Killerton House, known locally as ‘The Clump’, which is steeped in 3000 years of history. The hill’s rare geology and relics of an Iron Age Hill Fort have led it to be designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Scheduled Monument.

Ed Nicholson, Killerton’s Lead Ranger, explains why grazing Dartmoor ponies have had such a positive impact on the nature conservation of this sensitively managed area. Continue reading…