HISTORY

The House goes back to the time of William the Conqueror and was given by him to one of his French friends Sir William de Punchardon then by marriage to the Filleigh family, from nearby South Molton, and in 1454 to the Fortescues from South Devon who lived here for 400 years until 1834. It was John Inglett Fortescue who the legend goes had a wife with very expensive taste for whom this large house was built 1810, the original house having burnt down in 1790.

 

John Inglett Fortescue went bankrupt in 1834, and in 1880 the estate was sold to the family of William Browne. They were early settlers in South Australia and at one time farmed over one million acres with sheep for wool production.

 

In 1942 after two generations, ownership passed to nephew Captain Percy Browne who lived at Glebe Farm, part of the estate. Following a tragic hunting accident in 1952 when his newly wedded wife was killed the estate was divided and sold in 27 lots. It then became Buckland House School.

 

In 1984 the school closed and was sold by headmaster Max Williams to Mr Synyard who lived here for six years.

 

The property was then sold to an Adventure Centre, which went bankrupt in 1996. The present owners, Ralph and Suzanne Nicholson, have converted the adventure centre back into the House as it now stands. They live next door in what used to be the stables, coach houses and servants quarters.