Although we’re frequent visitors to Devon there are still lots of places we want to visit. On our most recent trip we wanted to use our National Trust membership to visit both Bradley Manor House and Compton Castle. We packed a picnic and headed off to Newton Abbot for our day out.
A visit to Bradley Manor House, Newton Abbot
Bradley Manor House is a surprisingly complete medieval manor set in lovely woodland minutes from the centre of Newton Abbot. The house contains a collection of Arts and Crafts furniture and Pre-Raphaelite paintings. The earliest part of the house dates to the 13th century, but the majority is of 15th-century design.
We drove down a long drive and parked up next to Bradley Leat which runs near the house. This small stream used to feed water to the estate mills and the children took the opportunity to see what they could find with their fishing nets.
Then it was time to walk up to the house along a short path, entering through a door in the wall to see the house. Bradley is a lovely white-washed house which sparkled in the sunshine. We showed our membership cards, the children were given a picture trail to complete and off we went.
Bradley was a lovely old building although we all noticed how cold it was inside, compared to the beautiful sunny day it was outside.
There was a lovely model of the buildings which showed how it had been expanded over time. We were able to walk through at our own pace, and there were guides in most of the rooms who answered all our questions. There were lots of interesting things to see, including William Morris curtains, painted Elizabethan coat of arms and original stone cat flap. The house is still occupied which gives it a lovely, lived-in feel.
The kids loved the stone carvings on the front of the house. They insisted that there was one which looked like one of the pigs from Angry Birds!
It’s definitely worth a visit if you are in the area, and there is plenty of space to stop for a picnic and walk along the river.
You may be interested in other blog posts about days out in Devon: