Dartington Hall


Dartington Hall is a medieval, gothic building constructed in the late 14th century located about two miles from Totnes, England. It occupies 1200 acres of land and is surrounded by well-known gardens. It is located in the village of Dartington, just a mile from Cott, another tiny village that’s the site of the Cott Inn.

The hall was mostly derelict by the time it was bought by Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst in 1925. In 1935, the Dartington Hall Trust, a registered charity, was set up in order to run the estate. The Trust organizes and supports a large number of on-going programs in the arts and other community interests, maintains the gardens (which are free to visit) and the hall, and keeps Dartington Estate self-supporting. Please refer to their website for more about the good work still being done more than 80 years after the Trust was established: Dartington.org.


The hall looks more like a church than a house. It’s rare to find gothic construction for other than religious purposes. These windows are immense and were incredibly expensive when they were new. The hall was built by a half-brother of the king.

My early spring visit was a bit damp. I descended the bus near a babbling brook at Dartington Shops where I enjoyed listening to a small band playing American dixieland music, ate Devon cream tea and admired the shops. It’s a walk of about a mile from Dartington Shops in the village to the great hall. The hall was hosting a wedding so I couldn’t enter but I enjoyed a walk in the garden. I found lots of green grass and daffodils.


Daffodils bloom by the thousands and are fun to see in early spring, but I would have enjoyed this visit even more a month from now — but I won’t be here then!

One way Dartington Trust supports their good works is by operating a small hotel in the old buildings that surround the main hall. There is also a restaurant and a café.


Here you see some of the hotel space at the Hall. It would be a fine place to stay.

Dartington is an interesting place to visit.I wish I could see it later in the spring. The gardens must be beautiful then.


This unusual terraced area in the garden accommodates a hillside well.


An old door and its sweet lace curtain caught my eye in another part of the estate.


This stream rushes past early spring willow tree and bushes between the road through the village and the shops. The ducks seem to like it.





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