What I remember most about this beautiful place in rural Devon County, England is its park-like setting with stunning vistas of the surrounding countryside and the Henry Moore sculpture pictured above. Today 1200 acre estate is home to an International Music School, a Social (Justice) Research Unit, a summer literary festival, Schumacher College (for sustainable education), performances and numerous events. Taken off their website: ”Dartington Hall Trust is a pioneering charity – a place of experiment, enterprise and education where the arts, social justice and sustainability come together.”
Some of the buildings were built in Medieval Times (the majestic Great Hall was built in the late 1300′s) and were in a run-down state when purchased by the forward thinking Elmhirsts in the early 1990′s. The estate now houses many commercial ventures (including restaurants, rooms where you can stay, a shopping center) but is large enough that the gardens still feel private and spacious.
The lawn is terraced for viewing the tiltyard (the sight for jousting matches) and is bordered on one side by The Twelve Apostles, a row of 12 Irish Yews. The gardens are so enjoyable to walk through and because of the expanse, you can actually get a hike in. After marveling at a splendid vista you continue on and stumble upon an interesting work of art.
Devon County is extremely scenic and loaded with gardens to visit – be sure to put Dartington Hall on you list. The pub serves great beer!
This picture of the Great Hall is taken directly of their website, you can visit it here.