A la Ronde: the sixteen-sided house

The Drawing Room at A La Ronde, Devon

Enter a magical world, a sixteen-sided house inspired by the incredible adventures of two fiercely independent spinster cousins, Mary and Jane Parminter, who went on a tour around Europe. From walls lovingly decorated with hundreds of feathers and shells, to quirky diamond shaped windows, this house is truly unique. Have a wander around the surreal Octagon room with eight doors leading off it; which one will you choose?


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Unusual works of art in the drawing room

Explore the drawing room, the heart of A la Ronde, and a showcase of the astonishing artistic skills of the Parminters. You'll see the incredible wall pictures, crafted by hand from sand, seaweed and card, the fireplace detailed with shells and walls decorated with intricately arranged feathers.

Get closer to the Shell Gallery

Experience the Shell Gallery like never before. The intricate patterns and designs of as many as 25,000 shells are captured in our new high quality interactive video. You can even zoom in and out to get a closer look at the fantastic craft work in this unique room.

Which door to choose in the Octagon?

Even in a house as quirky as A la Ronde, the Octagon is something special. What treasures will you find behind the eight doors that lead off it? Rising up to the famous Shell Gallery, the green decorations of the Octagon make it feel like you are walking through an undersea cave rising up to a shell grotto above.

Play a tune in the music room

Feeling musical? Why not take a seat and play a tune on the grand piano. This room is full of curiosities, from Inuit models and an emu egg, to a chair belonging to Nelson’s wife.

Curiouser and curiouser

The cabinet of curiosities in the library is jam packed with a jumble of Parminter family souvenirs such as shells, beadwork, semi-precious stones and votive statues.
This is a real treasure house with every nook and cranny crammed with bizarre items collected over the years. Take a look and see what you can find in our rare cabinet of curiosities.
This treasure trove is overflowing with everything from ancient Egyptian artefacts and precious rocks to prints from Switzerland.

Magical links

It is believed that these quirky diamond shaped windows were the inspiration for the Shell Cottage windows in the final Harry Potter film.

See our legacy

A short walk from A la Ronde is the privately run Point in View chapel. Built by Mary and Jane Parminter the chapel also included a school which was used to educate young girls, especially Jewish converts to Christianity. It is the resting place of Mary and Jane.