History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Arlington Court is a comfortable Regency manor set in lovely Devon countryside near Barnstaple. The Arlington estate houses the National Trust collection of historic carriages.
Arlington Court was built around 1820 by local Devon architect Thomas Lee for John Chichester. Lee designed a stuccoed Regency house in the style of an intimate villa. The Arlington estate was in the hands of the Chichester family from the 17th century until the death of Rosalie Chichester in 1949.
The interior of the house is crammed with an eclectic mix of period furniture and unusual items collected by the Chichester family over the years. The bulk of the collections were the work of Rosalie Chichester, an inveterate traveller.
Among the larger and more unique collections are model ships and a wide variety of shells, but there are a huge number of other objects, including stuffed birds, pewter plates, and tea caddies, as well as unusual curios gleaned by Rosalie Chichester on her travels across the globe.
The entrance to Arlington Court is fairly subdued, but this gives onto a grand staircase hall, which takes up fully one-third of the interior. Cannon from Sir Bruce Chichester's ship Erminia stand guard over the staircase, and everywhere are display cases full to bursting with curios and objet d'art.
The estate at Arlington is vast, stretching to over 2700 acres. Within the estate boundaries are a Victorian garden, a walled kitchen garden, a heronry, a horseshoe bat colony (viewable in season via 'Bat Cam'), and woodland and field walks.
Horse-drawn carriage rides (extra charge applies), allow visitors a different way to explore the grounds nearer the house. In a whimsical touch, the horses that pull the Arlington carriages are all named after characters from the novels of Charles Dickens. Throughout the season visitors can take special carriage driving lessons as well.
The Stable Block is home to the National Trust's collection of historic horse-drawn carriages. There are over 50 carriages in the collection, ranging from an ornate State Coach to a more practical Hansom cab.
Arlington Court for Families
Our children, aged 5 and 11 at the time of our visit, loved the carriage ride at Arlington, despite the fact that the day was wet and windy. It was a big thrill for all of us to skittle along behind a team of horses as we toured the Arlington estate. Our children also enjoyed discovering the unusual creations to be found along the sculpture trail.
What you will see:
- An elegant Regency house
- National Trust's horse drawn carriage collection
- Bat colonies
- Eclectic collections of Rosalie Chichester
- Sculpture walk and a variety of signposted country walks
About Arlington Court
Address: Arlington, Barnstaple, Devon, England, EX31 4LP
Attraction Type: Historic House
Location: 7 m NE Barnstaple, on A39
Website: Arlington Court
National Trust - see also: National Trust memberships (official website link)
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Arlington, St James Church - 0.1 miles (Historic Church)
Parracombe, St Petrock's Church - 4.6 miles (Historic Church)
Marwood Hill - 4.7 miles (Garden)
Marwood, St Michael's Church - 4.7 miles (Historic Church)
Chambercombe Manor - 6.4 miles (Historic House)
Swimbridge, St James Church - 6.5 miles (Historic Church)
Braunton, St Brannock's Church - 8 miles (Historic Church)
Castle Hill Gardens - 8.2 miles (Garden)
Nearest Accommodation to Arlington Court: