Killerton is a beautiful eighteenth century property now owed by the national Trust. It is at Broad Clyst, near Exeter in Devon and it is a most attractive old building, set in the most wonderful rolling Devonshire countryside, which looked lovely even on a dull December afternoon and with the hum of motorway traffic coming across the valley to us. I’ve visited many times over the years  but we went yesterday afternoon to look at the Christmas decorations in the house.

DSCF2363We walked up the lovely driveway to the house and already there was evidence that Christmas had come to Killerton.


The house was built in 1778 for the Acland family; it was built on the site of an older house but people had lived on this lovely hillside for thousands of years. The Aclands are a very old family who have been associated with Devon since the middle of the twelfth century. The house is lovely, not too big and with a comfortable feeling that it would be a nice place to live despite being so grand and the rooms so large and well-proportioned.

DSCF2360I loved this strange juxtaposition of a cannon and an old bicycle outside the entrance.


Beside the bicycle is what looks like an astrolabe… I didn’t have a proper look at it as we were hurrying out of the cold and into the house to see the Christmas decorations.

Each room had a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and was themed to match the decor; so for example a room with blue wallpaper had blue voiles and tulles hanging in great swathes from the windows down the curtains, and the mantelpiece was decorated with winter foliage and blue shiny baubles. Everywhere was sparkly and pretty and looked gorgeous. The theme was ‘The twelve Days of Christmas’ and it was like a treasure hunt to find the different gifts; hanging on one tree were eight tiny mice dressed as milkmaids, on the portraits of the Acland lords were silhouettes of dancers leaping and so on! great fun for all!

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