Mamhead Park (South), where Devon Sculpture Park is located, is steeped in history. There are a number of historic buildings.
The Robert Adam Orangery
The Grade II listed Orangery started as a cascade house over 500 years ago. An early owner, Thomas Ball (1671 – 1749), planted many exotic trees brought back from his continental travels. A number are still standing. In the 1770’s Robert Adam was commissioned by the Earls of Lisburne to redo the cascade house with his classic Romanesque temple and cupola.
Robert Adam introduced the now famous Lancelot Capability Brown to redesign the gardens and frame the extraordinary views over the sea and Exe estuary. The Orangery is one of the last historic orangeries that is still lived in. It houses some of the Letts family’s private art collection.
The Ice House
The Ice House has a fascinating history dating back hundreds of years. It sits around 5 metres below ground with only its ancient roof visible above the ground.
It has tunnels running for miles East and West. One leads all the way to the sea at Starcross and another heads up the hill to the Obelisk at Mamhead Woods. They may even have been smugglers tunnels!
Grade II listed St Thomas the Apostle Church is over 800 years old but the current structure is mostly a 15th Century building. It still holds a monthly church service and is available for weddings.
St Thomas’ has a small but active congregation. The beautifully maintained garden and graveyard, with historic yew, are open to the public.