Inspiration for the design 'A Jolly Good Show'
Far right and above - Dorothy and Richard D'Oyly Carte
A slice of stylish country life.
Thought I would post a little more information about the beautiful Coleton Fishacre.
I find this house inspirational, its beautiful Arts and Craft style exterior contrasting with the dramatic art deco interior is fabulous and one could imagine the decadent parties that took place here. The house was owned by the D'Oyly Cartes, their family businesses included the Savoy Theatre and D'Oyly Carte opera company along with Savoy Hotel.
1930's D'oyly Carte programme showing characters from Gilbert & Sullivan's 'Patience' & 'Iolanthe'.Reproductions from original designs by George Sheringham (d. 1937)
Lady Dorothy and her husband Rupert commissioned the house to be built and groundwork began in January 1925, the house was completed in June the following year. Life at Coleton Fishacre provided many opportunities for the pursuit of a splendid outdoor life! Lady Dorothy spent a lot of time at the house, whilst Rupert came down from their London home every Friday for a weekend of sailing, gardening or fishing. Both Lady Dorothy and Rupert were keen gardeners creating an exceptional garden, which even today it can be seen that the planting plans took into account future vistas and views. Positioned at the bottom of the vast grounds there is a wonderful hexagonal Gazebo with breath taking views of the sea and coast.
Above hexagonal Gazebo taking in breath taking views of the sea and coast and Pudcombe Bay.
Above the concret tidal pool, where the family and guests spent time in the Devon sunshine.
From the gardens the family and guests could access Pudcombe Cove where once steep concrete steps were in place to access to the Cove, these zig zagged down the cliff side, the D'Oyly Cartes created a concrete tidal bathing pool and a jetty. Other facilities included a changing hut, a sunbathing platform and a cold water shower, which was made by diverting a stream so that guests could shower off the sea water before returning to the house. Access could also be gained to the cove from the sea from the 60 metre jetty which ran out into the bay. The tidal bathing pool was placed on the south-east side of the cove to ensure maximum sun bathing opportunities could be had. At the end of a long hot day on the beach a ship bells would be rung near the house and the family and guests would return for pre-dinner drinks. How wonderful would that be....
Inside the house itself an Art Deco delight awaits you, as you enter the hall first impressions are of clean lines, and smooth walls, there is a lack of ornamentation, however on further investigation when you look up into the ceiling there are the most fantastic honeycomb ceiling lights that are original to the house which hand down supported by silk tassels.
Detail of an art deco honey comb ceiling light.
It is sad to say but nearly all the original furniture was removed on the sale of the house, with the the exception of the Dining room furniture and the Marion Don Carpets. The National Trust were able to recreate many of the room as they were originally set, as Coleton Fishacre was featured in the popular magazine Country Life in the 1930s. From this article written by Christopher Hussey and along with a 1949 inventory of contents the National Trust was able to reproduce copies of the original furniture and find suitable alternatives, placing them within the rooms at Coleton to give the place an air of authenticity.
Above - Lady Dorothy's Bedroom, above right Lady Dorothy's Saloon
Above - the Cocktail Cabinet in Lady Dorothy's Saloon, above right the main Saloon, showing the beautiful Marion Dorn Rug.
Above - Marion Dorn Rug - boarder pattern, above tiles from the bathroom showing hunting scene,