A magnificent Grade I late Georgian house with commanding views along the East Devon coastline
5 Principal reception rooms | 5 Additional reception rooms | Galleried halls, landings and corridors | Main kitchen/breakfast room, second kitchen/butler’s pantry | Domestic offices | Extensive cellars | 16 Bedrooms | 8 Bathrooms | Attic with 11 rooms, 2 bathrooms | Camellia House | Spacious 3 bedroom staff bungalow | Garaging, outbuildings and estate yard | A Grade II* 19th century castle, currently providing 6 office suites | Landscaped formal Italian-style terrace and sunken garden | Lily pond | Parkland | Agricultural land, woodland | About 164 acres (66 hectares)
Mamhead House has a fascinating history and there has been a house on this site for many centuries. Mamhead is mentioned in the Domesday Book and the ownership has passed through several distinguished families. In 1547 it was bought by the Balle family. In 1672 Peter Balle, an attorney to Queen Henrietta Maria, was awarded a Baronetcy for his services to her. Later William of Orange billeted his supporters on the Estate. Mamhead then passed into the hands of the Earls of Lisburne who sold the Estate in 1822 to R W Newman, MP for Exeter.
The current house was built in 1833 as a "Marriage House" for Robert Newman and his new bride, Mary. The initials of both appear entwined throughout the house. The family motto, "Ubi amor ibi fides", "Where there is love there is trust" is beautifully carved above the front door and is repeated in various places throughout the house.
Today Mamhead House combines reception rooms of fine proportions with exquisite plaster ceilings that flow from one to another. It has a peaceful and relaxing environment and the reception rooms, bedrooms, terraces and garden make the most of the stunning views over the parkland, open agricultural land and along the East Devon coast to Portland Bill.
The house, which is built of mellow Bath stone and is approached by a long winding drive through woodland, has five principal reception rooms, five additional reception rooms, galleried halls, landings and corridors, a main kitchen/breakfast room, a secondary kitchen/butler’s pantry and extensive domestic offices and cellars.
There are 16 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms and an attic with a further 11 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
At one end of the house overlooking the magnificent Italian sunken garden with its fine Salvin fountain, sundial and seat is a large camellia house.
In the grounds is a two bedroom staff bungalow together with useful garaging, outbuildings and an Estate yard.
Approached directly from the main drive, situated to the north west of Mamhead House is Mamhead Castle. Also designed by Anthony Salvin and built at the same time as the house it is a copy of 14th century Belsay Castle in Northumberland. It was designed as a craggy picturesque foil to the house. Constructed of local red sandstone it was originally used to provide stabling, a coach house, laundry and brewery. A passage linked the brewery with the house cellars. The Castle is Listed Grade II* and a central courtyard is approached through a massive gatehouse complete with portcullis.
Today the Castle has been completely modernised and is laid out in six office suites. These can be let to provide a useful income, although they are vacant at present.
Mamhead House is complemented by stunning landscaped gardens and parkland. It is known that Lancelot "Capability" Brown charged the first Earl of Lisburne £105 for his plans for improving the park. There are extensive Italian terraces, a magnificent sunken garden and all with the backdrop of azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons.
The parkland comprises many fine specimen trees. The agricultural land is grazed by sheep on a short term arrangement with a local farmer. The 70 acres of woodland provide a magnificent backdrop to the house.
The Estate extends in all to about 164 acres (66 hectares).