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.
Devon Sculpture Park is surrounded by parkland and a recently established Wilding Project. Book a Wilding Tour – CLICK HERE.
Nearly 100 acres have been rewilded letting the land and nature return to their ancient, organic roots. Ploughing and fertiliser destroy the soil and damage our fragile environment – we do neither.
We nurture and support wildlife to manage the land with us. Ponies, Roe deer and small rare breed sheep top grass and keep invasive weed back. Alpacas lift lower canopy, protect new born lambs and eat thistle. Pigs manage scrub.
An extraordinary array of birds, bees and butterfly share our trees and hedgerow with field mice, bugs, hedge hogs and snakes.
Our lakes support a rich variety of fish, newt and dragonfly with duck and heron frequent visitors.
We believe the combination of sculpture park and rewilding project is unique. The wildlife and nature are a part of the overall installation, of our living art. Environmental, sustainable art is the future. Environmental issues are vital for artists to attack.
Devon Sculpture Park is a new kind of outdoor art centre. We are not just one of the UK’s larger sculpture parks by acreage, we have the ambition to be a broader centre for the arts.
We were established by resident artist, Philip Letts, to support sculpture, visual arts both indoor and outdoor plus design, film, theatre, books, music, cooking and innovation.
At the bottom of the Capability Brown gardens is a sizable natural amphitheatre where we plan to host theatre, music and performance art – overlooking the sea.
We are a platform for artists to show how uniquely they can challenge our thinking, how effectively they enable us to see things differently. If you would like to talk to us about putting on an event just email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.