One of the finest surviving Gothic Revival houses, Knightshayes is a rare example of the work of the eccentric and inspired architect William Burges.
The house is full of quirks and curiosities, from gargoyles and grotesques to stone carvings depicting the seven deadly sins and a ceiling inscribed with Robert Burns poetry. Built in 1869, the property was home to the wealthy Heathcoat Amorys, who owned a lace factory in Tiverton. It was inhabited by the family for over 125 years, and the smoking and billiard rooms, elegant boudoir and drawing room all give an atmospheric insight into their grand country life. The interior design combines medieval romanticism with lavish Victorian decoration, while the murals tell of the troubled birth of Knightshayes and its restoration.
With over 1200 plant species unique to Knightshayes, the garden is one of the finest in Devon and among the most varied in the National Trust.
It was Sir John Heathcoat Amory who commissioned the house to be built, and Knighthayes still contains many of his original possessions – including his much beloved art collection. There are also important examples of Italian renaissance earthenware, a French music box, a silver ink stand made for the Great Exhibition and an assortment of rare books.