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The Hermitage Including Pond, Rockeries and Waterfalls to the South

A Grade II* Listed Building in Bicton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6682 / 50°40'5"N

Longitude: -3.3205 / 3°19'13"W

OS Eastings: 306778

OS Northings: 86218

OS Grid: SY067862

Mapcode National: GBR P6.MNVF

Mapcode Global: FRA 37Y9.L7H

Plus Code: 9C2RMM9H+7R

Entry Name: The Hermitage Including Pond, Rockeries and Waterfalls to the South

Listing Date: 10 February 1987

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1097547

English Heritage Legacy ID: 86208

Location: Bicton, East Devon, Devon, EX9

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Bicton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: East Budleigh All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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SY 08 NE
3/7 The Hermitage including pond,
- rockeries and waterfalls to the
- II*
Summerhouse with pond and waterfalls close by. Probably circa 1840. Brick walls
and stack, all clad with tiny fishscale shingles and rustic reeded frieze and plinth
made of narrow vertical strips of wood with rounded faces; roof of shaped oak
shingles and oak chimney shaft.
Small but exceptionally picturesque summerhouse facing south comprising an octagonal
room with end stack and pyramidal roof flanked by narrow gable-ended wings which are
entrance lobbies. Single storey. Romantic and rustic in style.
Symmetrical front. The main room has canted sides and contains fixed pane windows,
a front 3-light window flanked by 2-light windows. All have flat architraves made
by short round rods and they contain irregular patterns of stained glass, apparently
made up from fragments of older windows. A frieze made up of strips of wood
includes crudely made motifs such as rifles, crossed swords and flags. The soffit
of the deep eaves is similarly finished. The pyramidal roof with its small cap have
oak ridges enriched with small quatrefoils and the shingles have shaped edges with
small bosses on top. The apex is surmounted by a rustic cross. The wings each side
have porches front and back projecting as far as the main room. The open gables
have fish scale shingled bargeboards surmounted by rustic finials and are supported
on similarly clad octagonal posts with abaci and bases. The doorways have simple
architraves and the soffit of the porch roof and space over the doorways has
patterns made up of strips of wood and features motifs such as a crown and griffin.
The rear elevation is similar to the front except here the stack projects square
from the main room (also clad) and has a narrow oak chimney shaft rustically carved.
Good interior, remarkably intact and complete with original furniture. All the
interior walls and the roof are lined with dark brown basket-weave wicker-work. In
the main room the floor is made up of tiny bones, apparently deer. The small
fireplace has a granite surround containing panels of crude vermiculated
rustication. Above it is the Rolle arms which, like the apex boss, is made from
strips of wood. The rustic furniture comprises an octagonal table, its top also
patterned with strips of wood and chairs of various sizes made up of turned timbers.
Also a couple of probably African ethnographic trophies.
The Hermitage stands on a terrace from which a flight of stone steps descend to a
long stone-lined pond on a lower terrace and below them are 2 small rockeries with
waterfalls. In the left (western) one a natural stream has been divided into
several channels as it passes through a rockery planted with dwarf Welsh conifers
and at the right end the middle channels join to form a small waterfall into a semi-
circular pond whilst the outer channels flow round the outside to a drain. The
right (eastern) rookery includes 3 waterfalls.
The Hermitage is a lovely example of a romantic and rustic summerhouse set in the
finest landscaped gardens in Devon, which also includes the Rolle family house,
Bicton House (q.v.) and a number of fine listed buildings such as the Orangery
(q.v.), Palm House (q.v.) and the furniture of the Italianate Gardens (q.v.).

Listing NGR: SY0677886218

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