Cadhay House Historic East Devon Stately Home
An interesting manor house with plenty of history, Cadhay House in East Devon is open to the public in Friday afternoons in the summer months. The rest of the time it is available to hire for the week – perfect for a big family gathering or party.
Having seen the leaflets it was another place that has been on my list to visit for a couple of years. So I grabbed the chance before the season ended. With the children back at school I thought this might be a nice trip out for my parents. It was the right decision – definitely one for the grown ups as it includes a guided tour of the house which is not really suitable for younger children.
A Little Bit Of History
A house was first built on the site near Ottery St Mary around 1420.
Like many historic houses is has undergone numerous face lifts as new owners added their marks which makes it very interesting.
The current Cadhay House was built in Tudor style in 1550 around a central courtyard. Fortunately for future generations the stunning medieval great hall was retained and the fabulous wooden beamed ceiling can still be seen.
The tour was approximately an hour. We were guided around the house and explained it’s quite complicated ownership history by a very knowledgeable guide.
It started in the beautiful courtyard. The lovely chequered walls are a later addition, rather like tiles being added.
The statues around the courtyard are of Henry VIII and his three monarch offspring, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth, a nod to the family’s favour with royalty at the time.
Future owners restored it in Georgian style and added a long gallery. As a listed building this part currently houses all sorts of museum like memorabilia.
We were not allowed to take photos inside so you will have to go yourself to see it – or hire it for the week! Much of the house has been tastefully brought into the 21st century with heating and en-suite bathrooms siting happily along side the period features.
After the tour of the house we wandered the gardens. There were lovely flowers and two pretty ponds with water fountains and lilly pads. A second garden area is managed as allotments by locals – a great way to ensure that all the grounds are put to good use.
As we wandered the gardens the sky started to darken and large spots of rain started to fall – a dash for the tearoom!
what you need to know
Cadhay House is open on Friday afternoons from May to September. House and garden tours cost £8 per person and I would say are suitable for adults or children ideally over aged 10. There was one set of steep steps taking you upstairs on the house tour.
The house is on the outskirts of Ottery St Mary in East Devon, just off the A30. It was well signed and the postcode is EX11 1QT.
We also spent an hour or two before hand at Otter Nurseries on the other side of Ottery St Mary. A great place for all the plants you could ever need as well as clothes, gifts, crafts and a great restaurant. They also have an amazing Christmas lights shop and display area!