History of Shute Barton

Shute Barton House

Built in the mid-15th century, Shute Barton has changed many times since. Some original features can still be seen today, including a fireplace large enough for two oxen – one of the largest in the UK.

Built and owned by the Bonneville family, Shute Barton passed on to Thomas Grey when he married Cecily Bonneville.

The Greys were forced to sell the Shute estate to the Pole family due to loss of reputation, when they attempted to gain the throne of England with Lady Jane Grey.

Sir John William de la Pole pulled down part of the old house, reusing the stone to construct a new residence called Shute House at the end of the drive (not NT). The purpose of this was to impress the Prince Regent, who, despite Pole’s efforts, only stayed for one night.

The original building became known as Shute Barton, which translates from Old English to mean Shute Farmhouse. It was given to the National Trust in 1959 by the Carew Pole family. Until 2010, descendants of the Carew Poles still lived at the house.

The dining room of Shute Barton, Devon
The dining room of Shute Barton, Devon
The dining room of Shute Barton, Devon

Today Shute is recognised as one of the more important surviving non-fortified manor houses of the Middle Ages. During the 15th Century living in a non-fortified manor proved challenging for the Pole family, whose Royalist views caused them to be targeted and attacked.

After a major restoration project it was transformed into a holiday cottage.

The mark of the Bonneville and Pole families is evident throughout the house. Shute Barton offers a blend of old and new. Period features can be seen in the remodeled holiday rooms but the second floor has remained relatively untouched by the 21st century. The tour concludes in the formal garden which you are free to wander and enjoy in your own time.  

" Shute... hath been a very ancient dwelling of personages of good worth."
- Tristram Risdon, 1811

Shute Gatehouse

To learn more about the history of Shute Gatehouse, managed by The Landmark Trust, please visit their website here.