MEM24547 - Glenthorne Designed Landscape (Monument)


The gardens and features surrounding Glenthorne House, which was built in 1829.

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Type and Period (1)

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Full Description

The Glenthorne Estate was created in the 19th Century by the Rev W S Halliday, who purchased the whole of the parish of Countisbury between 1829 and 1866. Countisbury was a Domesday Manor, held by Aelmer in 1066 and by William de Capra in 1086. The Ordnance Survey map of 1804 [1] shows a landscape of small farms to the north and south of the East Lyn River, with the unenclosed common of Old Burrow Down on the coast west of Coscombe Bay, and woodlands on the cliffs north of Yenworthy and Broomstreet Farms. Coscombe, a holding of some 94 acres, purchased by Halliday in 1829, formed the heart of the Glenthorne Estate. Glenthorne House was built on the cliffs overlooking the Bristol Channel. It was largely complete by 1831. A drive to the house from Windgate Farm was constructed, with a lodge, two gateways and several disconcerting hairpin bends. Most of the materials for the new buildings, however, came by sea. A lime kiln, store rooms and a boat house were built at the landing place on the beach below the house. Home Farm, the Garden Cottage and kitchen garden, an icehouse, a bath house and a reservoir were constructed in the period 1830s-1850s. The network of terraced walks and paths around Glenthorne was in place by the late 19th Century. The tithe maps for Countisbury (1841) and Oare (1842) show the principal features of the Glenthorne Estate built by Halliday in the 1830s. The house, Garden Cottage, Home Farm, coach house, lodge and buildings by the beach are all shown. At this time the drive to Glenthorne left the Countisbury to Porlock road at Windgate Farm and crossed Old Burrow Down to the north of Old Burrow. The tithe maps depict a narrow strip of woodland – Little Wood - between Old Burrow Down and the sea in Countisbury and a block of woodland – Manor Wood and Stag’s Head Wood - between the enclosed land of Yenworthy and Broomstreet Farms in Oare [2,3]. The Ordnance Survey 1st edition 25 inch map (1890) shows the extent of the designed landscape around Glenthorne. A network of terraced walks and paths traverse the slopes between the main drive, and link the house with the walled gardens and Garden Cottage, Home Farm, Glenthorne Beach and Yenworthy Combe. Four linhays to the south and SE of Home Farm are named on the map: Coscombe Linhay; Five Acre Linhay; Hemlawn Linhay and Whitebloom Linhay. A road links the drive with the Countisbury to Porlock Road south of Old Burrow, and several small buildings and structures are shown: a fountain; ‘The Towers’; a bath house, an icehouse and a reservoir and ponds. Coniferous woodlands are depicted in Glenthorne Plantations and in Manor Wood [4]. [5] A history of the Halliday family at Glenthorne was written by Ursula Halliday. [6] A conjectural boundary of the designed landscape has been plotted on the HER GIS using the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map as a guide. This boundary may be inaccurate and should be used as a guide only. [4,7,8]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • --- Report: Riley, H.. 2021. Archaeological survey at Glenthorne, Countisbury, Devon and Oare, Somerset, Exmoor National Park: The Combe SS 79947 49497 - The Towers SS 79425 49776. Hazel Riley.
  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1804. 1 Inch Ordnance Surveyors draft map - North Molton, Devon. 1:63,360. Pen and Ink.
  • <2> Map: <1841. Countisbury Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <3> Map: 1842. Oare Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <4>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890. [Mapped feature: #45101 ]
  • <5> Report: Riley, H.. 2018. Archaeological survey at Glenthorne in Countisbury, Devon and Oare, Somerset. 2-5.
  • <6> Monograph: Halliday, U.. 1995. Glenthorne: A most romantic place. Exmoor Books. 1st E Edition.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap.
  • <8> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Shirley Blaylock and Catherine Dove, 18 September 2018.



Grid reference Centred SS 798 493 (2260m by 1382m)
Map sheet SS74NE

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Related Monuments/Buildings (16)

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Record last edited

Mar 29 2022 2:40PM


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