This much sought after castle in Devon perched high on Haldon Hill stands in 5 acres of woodland in the heart of the Devonshire some 6 miles from the cathedral city of Exeter offers a unique peaceful setting for small functions and conferences for up to 50 people.
Haldon Belvedere, also known as Lawrence Castle, sits on a high knoll some 244 metres above sea level and stands in 5 acres of woodland in the heart of the lovely Devonshire countryside some 6 miles from the cathedral city of Exeter. Haldon Belvedere is approved for Civil Wedding/Partnership Ceremonies and is much sought after for the smaller, more intimate ceremony of up to 50 people. The location offers an exclusivity that few other venues can match.
The Castle stands 26 metres high and is triangular in plan with 3 circular turrets, one of which contains a fine stone cantilevered spiral staircase leading to the upper rooms and the roof where there are 360 0 panoramic views across to the Jurassic coast of Dorset and Portland Bill to the east, towards Exmoor and the Quantock Hills to the north, Dartmoor to the west and the rolling hills of the South Hams to the south.
It was built by Sir Robert Palk who made his vast fortune whilst working with the East India Company and as Paymaster and Commissary in the field to the Indian Army. He built it in 1788 in memory of his friend Major General Stringer Lawrence who was known as the ‘Father of the India Army’. In its heyday it was part of the Palk family’s vast estate and was visited by George III. In the 19th century when the family were known as the Lord’s Haldon it was visited by Napoleon III. In the 20th century it became a home and tearoom and was opened to the public.
In the 1990’s the Devon Historic Building Trust restored the Grade II* listed building to its former Georgian glory, renovating the ornate plasterwork, gothic style windows and doors, mahogany floor and spiral staircase. Today it is a popular venue for Civil Weddings/Partnerships, and an unusual venue for small conferences and other intimate functions. The second floor is available as a self-contained apartment which caters for two people.
The ground floor Lawrence Room with its stone flag floor and life size statue of Stringer Lawrence dressed as a Roman Army General is used as a reception room where champagne and canapés can be served to wedding guests while photographs are taken using the many opportunities offered by the building and its surroundings. There is direct access out onto the lawns at the back of the castle and there is disabled access from the drive.
The first floor Palk Room, accessed via the spectacular stone spiral staircase is the setting for wedding ceremonies, conferences, intimate dinners and other such functions. The light and airy room has large gothic style windows, fine ornate plasterwork, and the original mahogany floor.
The top floor is a self-contained apartment available for self-catering holiday lets and short breaks, and the generous accommodation comfortably caters for two people.
Map & Directions
You can find us by turning off the A38 at the Exeter Racecourse exit and following the Tourist signs for "Haldon Forest Park". Some 2 miles from the A38 you will pass the entrance to Haldon Forest Park but continue past this entrance and along the road until you come down a short hill. The Haldon Belvedere is ahead, by a junction named Haldon Gate. The drive leading to the castle is on the right a few metres beyond this junction. The entrance to the Haldon Belvedere visitors car park is on the right just before the drive gates.
|Haldon Belvedere (1 Jan 2017 - 31 Dec 2017)|