The National Trust Transforms Medieval Manor Into Holiday House

By The National Trust, PRNE
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SWINDON, England, January 27, 2011 - The National Trust has announced that holidaymakers will have the chance
to stay in a medieval manor house thanks to a transformation that has created
the grandest and oldest holiday property in the National Trust's portfolio.

Shute Barton, near Axminster in east Devon, dates back to the 13th
century and is part of what was a larger family house owned by the Bonville
family. It has stood through a staggering amount of history from the
dissolution of the monasteries through to the Second World War.

The house - which has reputedly the largest fireplace in England where
two oxen could be roasted at once - was given to the National Trust in 1959
by the Carew Pole family. Cousins of this family, the Pole Carews, lived
there until 2009.

Gareth Dempster, holiday cottage (
) supervisor for the National Trust, said: "The family had chosen to move out
and it became clear that the house required some extensive renovation work
including stonework restoration to the battlements outside and new heating,
electrics and decoration inside. After two years of hard work, we are proud
that the house still retains its fine original features."

The features include 17th century panelling in one of the master bedrooms
and a great hall on the top floor dating from 1450 that is reached by a tiny
spiral staircase. The room has a garderobe in the corner and an incredible
hammer beam roof which can be enjoyed by guests today when they holiday at
Shute Barton.

Gareth continued: "The Trust decided that making Shute Barton a place
where people can stay and enjoy holidays was a great solution to keeping the
house a family home, as it has been for over 500 years. By booking holidays
there, people are also contributing to the upkeep of the Trust's work in the
East Devon coast and countryside. And as we are still opening the house to
the public on weekends throughout the year, day visitors can get to come and
enjoy its unique atmosphere."

Guests can dine under original paintings belonging to the Carew Pole
family, sleep in antique beds and look out of the original windows to views
little altered over the centuries. The house is approached through an ornate
gatehouse - a scheduled monument in its own right - and there are formal
gardens which stretch out to the back of the building.

The house, which accommodates ten people, is an ideal venue for a special
family holiday in incredible surroundings, and is well located for the sites
such as the Jurassic Coast and the attractive coastal villages of Beer and
Seaton. It is available for bookings from February 2011.

About the National Trust:

The National Trust is a charity with a love for preserving historic
places and spaces across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our commercial
activities raise much-needed income to support our conservation work. Our
income-generating activities include shops (both at properties and on the
high street), restaurants and cafeterias, plant centres, holiday cottages, a
brand licensing programme, corporate partnerships, wedding and function hire,
publishing activities and a film location business.

The National Trust Holiday Cottages offer a number of beautiful
properties across the UK, including holiday cottages in south Devon
dog friendly cottages
(, holiday cottages in
Dorset ( and holiday
cottages in the Isle of Wight

(Due to the length of these URLs, it may be necessary to copy and paste
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space if one exists.)

    PR Contact:
    Jane Travis
    National Trust Press Office
    Kemble Drive
    SN2 2NA

PR Contact: Jane Travis, National Trust Press Office, Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon, SN2 2NA, +44(0)1793-818506

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