Pixton Park

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Pixton Park
Pixton Park is located in Somerset
Pixton Park
Location within Somerset
General information
Town or city Dulverton, Somerset
Country England
Coordinates 51°01′58″N 3°31′56″W / 51.0329°N 3.5323°W / 51.0329; -3.5323
Completed c1760

Pixton Park is a country house in the parish of Dulverton, Somerset, England. It is associated with at least three historically significant families or dynasties: the Acland baronets, the politicians and diplomats the Herberts, and the Waughs, a series of writers. The Grade II* listed building was built around 1760 for the Acland family and later altered by the Earl of Carnarvon.[1]



Arms of Dyke of Somerset: Or, three cinquefoils sable. As seen in east window of Lynch Chapel,[2] Bossington, Somerset, erected in 1884-5 by Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 11th Baronet (1809–1898).[2] These are also the arms of the Dyke Baronets of Horeham, Sussex[3]

Pixton was the seat of the Dyke family.[4]

  • John Dyke (d.1699) of Pixton, who died intestate.[5] The will dated 1700 of his wife Margaret (d.1703) survives, which provides a partial pedigree of the family.
  • Edward I Dyke (will dated 1728), eldest son and heir, of Pixton. He married Elizabeth Blackford (d.1736), daughter of Richard Blackford of Dunster, a Master in Chancery. In her widowhood she became the heir of her infant relative Henrietta Blackford (d.1733), heiress of Holnicote in Somerset.[6]
  • Edward II Dyke (d.1746) of Pixton, eldest son and heir. He was Warden of the royal forest of Exmoor and Master of Staghounds, which pack later became the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, which he kenneled at Holnicote in the north of Exmoor and at Jury and Highercombe, both near Pixton towards the south of Exmoor.[7] He married Margaret Trevelyan, a daughter of Sir John Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet (1670–1755), of Nettlecombe in Somerset, and widow of Alexander Luttrell (1705–1737) of Dunster Castle. Edward inherited Holnicote and estates in Bampton from his brother John Dyke (d.1732), who died without progeny. Edward died without progeny and bequeathed Pixton to his niece Elizabeth Dyke (d.1753), whom he appointed his sole executor, daughter and sole heiress of his brother Thomas Dyke (d.1745) of Tetton. The bequest stipulated that Elizabeth and her husband Sir Thomas Acland, 7th Baronet (1722-1785) should adopt the additional surname of Dyke. Edward Dyke bequeathed his Bampton estates to his nephew Edward Smyth, son of his sister Grace Dyke, on condition he should assume the surname and arms of Dyke. Several portraits of Edward II Dyke exist: two which were at Pixton in 1909 and two at Dunster Castle. Five portraits of his wife Margaret Trevelyan survive, four at Dunster Castle[8] and one at Nettlecombe Court.[9]


  • Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 7th Baronet (1722-1785) of Killerton, Devon and Petherton Park in Somerset, who acquired Pixton by his marriage to the heiress Elizabeth Dyke (d.1753). In 1846 he took over mastership of the Staghounds following the death of Edward Dyke.[10]
  • Col. John Dyke Acland (1747-1778), eldest son and heir apparent, who predeceased his father. He was a Tory MP and a soldier who fought in the American War of Independence. He lived at Pixton Park with his wife Lady Harriet Fox, a remarkable woman in her own right, and died there in 1778[11] He gave Pixton and Tetton to his daughter Elizabeth "Kitty" Acland as part of her marriage settlement on her marriage to into which family those estates passed.



In about 1990 the mansion house Pixton Park, but not most of the surrounding grounds, was purchased by Timothy F. Bell, a retired City of London financier, and his wife Beatrice, who still reside there in 2016.[14][15]


At one time the estate had a herd of Sika Deer (Cervus nippon), and was used for pheasant rearing.

The stables to Pixton Park were built in the mid 18th century and are now a private dwelling.[16] In 2007 the stables were bought by Richard Caring, the owner of Annabel's nightclub and The Ivy restaurant, and subject to a planning application for a "Winter Palace".[17][18][19]

Pepperpot Castle in Upton, which is also known as Haddon Lodge, was built by Lady Harriet Acland, during the long period of her widowhood, 1778–1815, as a lodge to the drive to connect Pixton Park in Dulverton where her daughter the Countess of Carnarvon lived, with her own estates near Wiveliscombe.[20]

South Haddon Cottage, which was built in 1830, formed part of the estate.[21]

Two gate lodges were built to the estate. No 1 Jury Lodge[22] and No 2 Jury Lodge[23] In 1870 the Earl of Carnavon resited the entrance to Pixton Park and created a new driveway, more convenient for guests arriving by train from Dulverton railway station, and added a new lodge.[24] Towards Brushford the River Barle is crossed by the New Bridge dating from 1870, which led to Pixton Park,[25]

Further reading[edit]

  • Exmoor Oral History Archive: reminiscences of Jean Gabb, a housmaid at Pixton [8]


  1. ^ "Pixton Park". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  2. ^ a b [1]
  3. ^ Montague-Smith, P.W. (ed.), Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, Kelly's Directories Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames, 1968, p.268)
  4. ^ Archives of Dyke family, Dyke family wills 1636-1770 held at Highclere Castle [2]
  5. ^ Hancock, Frederick, The Parish of Selworthy in the County of Somerset, Taunton, 1897, pp.171-5 [3][4]
  6. ^ Hasted, Edward, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3, 1797, pp.498-515, Parishes: Cliff: Manor of Mallingden [5]
  7. ^ Acland, Anne. A Devon Family: The Story of the Aclands. London and Chichester: Phillimore, 1981, p.18
  8. ^ First of these she is represented as a girl in blue and white satin. The second, painted by John Vanderbank in 1729, shows her seated, with a dog by her side. In the third she is in white satin with a red scarf, and in the fourth, painted by Richard Phelps, in a blue cloth cloak with a white hood over her head. There is a fifth portrait of her, as Mrs. Luttrell, at Nettlecombe Court, in blue silk with white sleeves and a white sash.
  9. ^ Lyte, Sir Henry Churchill Maxwell, A History of Dunster, and of the families of Mohun & Luttrell, London, 1909, p.224
  10. ^ Acland, 1981, p.18
  11. ^ Batty-Smith, Nigel. "John Dyke Acland Of Pixton". West Country Genealogy, Heraldry, and History. Archived from the original on 2005-12-01. Retrieved 2006-03-22. 
  12. ^ "The Herbets and the Waughs". Exmoor National Park. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  13. ^ "The Herberts and Waughs". Exmoor National Park. Archived from the original on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  14. ^ Daily Mail newspaper, 28 July 2007, "Neighbours revolt over tycoon's plans for Winter Palace on Exmoor"[6]
  15. ^ Image of Timothy and Beatrice Bell, 2015[7]
  16. ^ "Stables to Pixton Park". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  17. ^ Trump, Simon (2007-07-28). "Neighbours revolt over tycoon's plans for Winter Palace on Exmoor". Mail Online. London. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  18. ^ "Pixton Stables" (PDF). Planning Committee. Exmoor National Park Authority. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  19. ^ Johnson, Rachel (2008-05-11). "Country life: how to blend in with the locals". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  20. ^ "Pepperpot Castle". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  21. ^ "South Haddon Cottage". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  22. ^ "No 1 Jury Lodge". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  23. ^ "No 2 Jury Lodge". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  24. ^ "Gate and gatepiers at former south entrance to Pixton Park". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  25. ^ "New Bridge". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 30 November 2008.