Compton Castle

by david

Society Excursion to Compton Castle June 8th 2011

On a day which started overcast before finishing sunny the society under our leaders Eileen Grassby and Keith Underwood travelled to view firstly the National Trust poroperty Compton Castle, Devon
This private property is still in the hands of the Gilbert family. Their connection started in around 1329 when Geoffrey Gilbert came from Totnes following his marrage to Joan de Compton, the heiress to the property, at which stage it was probable a manor house. An interval of 146 years between 1785 and 1931 when it was on other hands before being bought back into the family by Commander Walter Raleigh Gilbert who was responsible for the major restoration works
The family's claim to fame is its involvement in the early colinising the New World. Sir Humphrey Gilbert's colinisation of Newfoundland  in 1583, founded the British Empire. Sir Humphrey was the half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. The family was closely involved in setting up Ranoke colony of North Calolina in 1585 and Fort St George in 1607
The Gilberts involvement with the upper affairs of state and close contact with the kings during the 16th and 17th centuries brought them wealth and influence. A story which has had its ups and downs
Today one of the outstanding features are the gardens. This is a house that is a must, and the photographs do not do justice to the visual effect of the house and gardens

Following the visit to Compton Castle the group travelled to the nearby seaside town of Paigton to visit Isaac Merritt Singer's opulant creation Oldway Mansion,which is now the headquarters of Torbay Council. The mansion is partly open to the public (free) and is magnificent as the photographs show. It also afforded the opportunity for some lunch before the onward destination Torquay

Our final destination Torquay

Now we are homward bound$






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