Run fox run,
Quick as you can,
In our garden we have spheres, cones, circles and an octagonal parterre made from Buxus semperviren - common box, but what a unique vision has been used here to create a scene in Yew hedging of hound dogs chasing a fox in the gardens of Knightshayes Court, Devon thus capturing the owner's passion for countryside sports.
William Burges - Architect & Medievalist
"He was the most dazzling exponent of the High Victorian Dream. Pugin conceived that dream; Rossetti and Burne-Jones painted it; Tennyson sang its glories; Ruskin and Morris formulated its philosophy; but only Burges built it."
extract from the High Victorian Dream - Cook
Knightshayes Court was designed by William Burges for Sir John Heathcote-Amory in 1867. Burges was a Victorian architect who re-established the architectural and social values of a utopian medieval England. He stands within the great tradition of Gothic Revival, his work echoing those of the Pre-Raphaelites and heralding those of the Arts and Crafts movement. Apart from architecture he designed metalwork, sculpture, jewellery, furniture, and stained glass. He was left a large legacy by his father which enabled him to devote his life to the study and practice of architecture without requiring that he actually earn a living.
The vista from the south terraces across the parkland to Tiverton where the Heathcote Amory's lace factory was situated.
A beautiful clump of Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasqueflower) flowering profusely
Entrance door screen
A typical Burges touch for the exterior porch light.
Sadly Burges's elaborate interiors for Knightshayes Court were never fully realised; he had a rocky relationship with Sir John who objected to many of his designs on the grounds of cost and style. Burges was eventually sacked and replaced by John Dibblee Crace who toned down many of the existing and extravagant Burges designs.No photos allowed showing any Burgess furniture - many of the pieces in the house are on loan from museums or private individuals.
If you are interested in seeing a piece of William Burges's intricately designed and styled furniture then I would urge you to view this video, and preferably watch it on a full screen to really appreciate the details Burges incorporated into a simple bedroom washstand:-
The Burges coach house and stable block now houses a restaurant, a shop, and a wonderful plant centre.
The Kitchen Garden - more of Burges's ubiquitous medieval turrets, and even a little area with a duck pond and some hens for fresh eggs.
A monster brassica, 7 ft tall - Taunton Deane Cottagers kale, you can get a better idea of the height by looking at the wall on the previous photo.
"If we keep our eyes tightly closed, do you think he'll go away?"