Bucked Up by Short Curtains at Collaton Fishacre

Friday 17th October 2014

The D’Oyly Cartes were sailing by in their yacht when an idyllic vale sweeping down to the sea near Dartmouth hove into view. They plucked it at once for a house. Now it’s National Trust. Grey of roof and wall, almost a manor house, there’s a distinguished air – but ought not to be. Built in 1924, Arts and Crafts blended with Art Deco, many a desirable stockbroker residence in Hazlemere or Goldalming is its cousin. The D’Oylys had the Savoy as well as the operettas – they were rolling. But Collaton Fishacre only has seven bedrooms and three bathrooms. I felt a liking for them. Lack of grandeur and arse. If one has money it’s important to keep it, not squander. Craving a vast mansion is often the undoing. Within the house – well, I can’t describe it. By rights everything one despises – those awful low dressing tables with built-in mirror that used to be stacked up in junk shops 20 years ago. The frightful 20s furniture seen in suburban homes throughout the land. Even short curtains for the Tudor-Bethan windows. And basins in the bedrooms! But now, partly because it’s become history, become a thing, partly because the D’Oylys had the best of the hideous, Collaton Fishacre is all right.

The Gay Mother and I couldn’t get far in the garden because of the rain. A magnificent swamp cypress was our limit. I’m beginning to take an interest in conifers. Returning we found a walled-area full of flowers – absolutely astonishing for October. In the shop the coo-ing National Trust lady said it was Lady Dorothy’s Garden. Just couldn’t believe the National Trust people all being so unbelievably nice to each other and all the visitors. This is now part of the Heritage experience, it seems, the divine simpering loveliness of the Past.

Lady Dorothy’s Walled Garden at Collaton Fishacre – Amazing for October

Collaton Fishacre – The Main Drawing Room

Short Curtains in the Small Sitting Room at Collaton Fishacre

Collaton Fishacre – The Lav. Bruce MacBain would Never Have Allowed that Waste Pipe to Show

Collaton Fishacre – the Sunk Bath in the Bathroom

Basin in the Bedroom AND Short Curtains at Collaton Fishacre

A Basin in the Bedroom – Tiles were Also Used at the Savoy Hotel

Basin in the Bedroom and Curtains Under the Basin at Collaton Fishacre


Posted Sunday, October 19, 2014 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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  1. Robert Nevil says:

    Love Lady Dorothy’s wall. I, Robert Nevill, have that rather lurid purple salvia in foreground, but in pot. Really does flower at this time of the year, even in London. Bought at Dixter – hence colour.

  2. Adrian Edge says:

    I wonder if that’s the salvia I tried to buy at Dixter Plant Fayre and now crave more than anything

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