‘Our Hallsannery journey.’
It took 14 hours to drive from our home just outside Glasgow to deepest Devon. My parents (Hannah), my brother and I. We turned off the road, which bordered the river, and up, up the sweeping drive, past the rhododendrons which were just about to explode into colour. We rounded the bend and I had my first magical glimpse of ‘the big house’. It was 1984, I was 12 years old and that ‘big house’ was Hallsannery.
Together with my aunts and uncle, my parents spent the next 25 years breathing new life into the Hallsannery Estate, establishing a successful (and popular) Field Studies centre. I shared my teenage years with some 60 students, living, as we did, in the ‘flat’ in the ‘Servants wing’ at the back of the main House.
And now we have come full circle. In 2012, my husband Charles and I brought our own family back to Devon (albeit from Hampshire so a less arduous journey!) to take over the ‘custodianship’ of Hallsannery. Embarking on a complete renovation of this beautiful Grade II listed house was one of our most exhausting, yet rewarding, undertakings.
Working with local architects, Gale & Snowdon we set about restoring the building to its former late Georgian/early Victorian glory. Over 7 months, RCH Wilson builders (builder ‘Bob’ and his team) worked tirelessly, opening up spaces, restoring period features and creating 11 sumptuous ensuite bedrooms, whilst experts installed a giant bio mass pellet boiler, providing a renewable heating source for the entire house.
In April 2013, the builders, craftsmen and plumbers moved out and Hallsannery opened its doors once again, as a stunning venue for weddings, holidays, meetings and events.
And welcoming guests – be it couples, friends, families or strangers – continues to allow more and more people to enjoy the elegance, peace and magic that is Hallsannery.
We hope that you too will enjoy your time here, and enjoy dipping into the history of what, in 1856 was dubbed a ‘handsome modern mansion’.
Hannah, Charles, Toby, Barney and Josh Evans