Coleton Fishacre house

The Saloon with carpet designed by Marion Dorn at Coleton Fishacre, the house designed in 1925 for Rupert and Lady Dorothy D'Oyly Carte at Kingswear, Devon

The arts and crafts exterior hosts a stunning Art Deco interior, complete with original features. Please be aware that the house is closed until further notice.

Explore the D'Oyly Carte's country home

This country home was built in 1926 for Rupert and Dorothy D'Oyly Carte, who were inspired to make the beautiful valley running down to the sea the site for an elegant home. Here they could entertain in style and indulge their passion for the outdoors. You get a real feel for their lifestyle of outdoor pursuits and entertainment as you explore the house; look out for the wind dial which indicated good sailing weather, and the bell on the side of the house which could be rung to call the family in from the cove at the bottom of the garden at meal times.


Soak up the Art Deco style

Inside, the house is dramatically Art Deco in design. The D'Oyly Cartes aspired to a minimalist design, which can be seen throughout the house in the use of pale rooms and strong accent colours, and a lack of adornment. On the room sheets as you go through the house you'll see images from Country Life published in 1930.

The sitting room has an elegant feel and is complete with cocktail cabinet in the corner
The Sitting Room at Coleton Fishacre, Devon.
The sitting room has an elegant feel and is complete with cocktail cabinet in the corner


Don't miss the views

From Lady Dorothy's room enjoy views of the Rill Garden, where the pastel shades of the plants reflect her taste. From the East Bedroom you can see the hot borders filled with the fiery colours that Rupert loved. While you're enjoying the views, you might notice the bat screen in the central window of Lady Dorothy's Room, which is original to the house.


Step back in time

You can get a real feel for the era with the more interactive elements in the house, for example in the handling room you can try on clothing and hats from the 1920s and 30s. Wander around the house listening to music playing, and imagine yourself drink in hand (straight from the cocktail cabinet in the sitting room) living the high life in the Jazz Age, just as the D'Oyly Cartes did here.


Conservation in action

At the back of the house you can usually visit the Laundry Room and the service rooms, where you can see where the servants worked. Unfortunately the flat roof which covers this area is leaking, and we've had to close these rooms while work is being carried out. You can still visit the Kitchen, Servant’s Hall and Larder to get a flavour of life ‘downstairs.’ It’s going to be quite a big job to get the flat roof fixed, and we hope to have it completed by the summer but it could take as long as all year.