A la Ronde, Summer Lane, Exmouth, Devon

A la Ronde, Summer Lane, Exmouth, Devon
Photograph taken 17 July 2006 © Mr David Withey. Source Historic England Archive ref: 87518

This circular stone cottage was built by the Misses Jane and Mary Parminter in a style known as ornee. The Misses Parminter did the 'Grand Tour' at a time when only gentlemen used to do that. They visited Italy and much of Europe between 1784 and 1794. They built this 16 sided house that allowed them to follow the sun throughout the day. It has a central octagon which is thought to have been modelled on the basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna (Italy). The octagon is surrounded by 8 rooms each connected to the rest through an anteroom. Above the octagon is a gallery. The outer wall of the gallery is covered with designs in shells and feathers. It was probably planned as an 18th century domestic version of the mosaics of San Vitale.

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