Kitley House

20 Jun 2002
Kitley House, Yealmpton, South Hams, Devon, PL8 2NW
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.

SX 55 SE YEALMPTON 4/248 23/4/52 Kitley House


Large country house in landscaped park. 1820-25 extensive remodelling by G.S.

Repton, for E.P. Bastard, of a 1710 house, which itself was a rebuilding of a circa C16 house, traces of which exist in the basement. Ashlar with granite dressings.

Bitumenised slate roof. Tudor/Jacobean style. Approximately square on plan.

Symmetrical elevations with gables, octagonal turrets on the corners with granite pinnacles and ogee finials, and large octagonal granite chimney stacks with moulded caps and bases. Two storeys, attics and basement. The north entrance front 3:1:3 bays with crenellated porch and chimney stack above over the central projection.

South elevation similar, but has central crenellated oriel and gable above flanked by chimney stacks on shallow oriels. The south elevation is built over a four-centred arch arcaded loggia with pinnacles at either end. The west elevation is gabled right and left with shallow crenellated bays, set back at first floor level with clock turret in the roof. The ground floor projects with a gabled bay, and below at lower garden level large round-headed windows in moulded four-centred arch opening. The west and south sides are built on terraces overlooking the landscaped gardens which fall away steeply from the house. The east side has gables left and right with shallow crenellated bays. Central three bays project with gabled shallow oriel at centre. The wooden dormers are crenellated and the windows have moulded wooden mullions and transoms. Some C16 material survives in the basement, including mullion windows and four-centred arch doorways.

Interior: Largely C18 and early C19. Early C18 panelled staircase hall with giant fluted pilasters flanking round arched doorway, and a very fine early C18 staircase with diverging flights meeting on a landing with three twisted and fluted balusters per tread and Corinthian column newels. Regency Library with remarkably intact circa 1825 decorations.

The estate came into the possession of the Pollexfens in the early C16 and in 1710 passed to Pollexfen Bastard whose father had married the Pollexfen heiress. Sarah Martin wrote the Mother Hubbard Rhymes ("The Comic Adventures of Old Mother Hubbard and Her Dog") here in 1805. The character Mother Hubbard is believed to have been based on the housekeeper at Kitley.

The landscaped park is C18 with some C19 planting.

References: Country Life LXXXVI 7th October 1939 pages 362 to 367.

Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 76, 1944, 98-9.

Listing NGR: SX5596951462


This is part of the Series: IOE\Ellis_Mel IOE Records for Ellis, Mel; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


Copyright IoE Mr Mel Ellis. Source Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Ellis, Mel

Rights Holder: Ellis, Mel


Ashlar, Bitumen, Granite, Slate, Stuart Landscape Park, Georgian Gardens Parks And Urban Spaces, Park, Counting House, Domestic, House, Dwelling