Please note: This house does not offer free entry to Historic House members.
For alternative options please see other opening options.

Other opening

Overview

Surrounded on all sides by its own private landscaped park the house stands witness to 800  years of history. Never demolished and rebuilt it has evolved with time reflecting the ups and downs of the families fortunes over the centuries.

On a hill overlooking a lake and landscaped park Great Fulford has been the home of the Fulford family since at least the 12th century. The house reflects the financial fortunes of the family over the centuries with major enlargement taking place in Henry VIII's reign and in the Elizabethan period. In the 1690's the house, whcih had been severely damaged during the Civil War was restored. A suite of 'Great Rooms' being inserted behind the Tudor walls they include The Great Hall which is panelled with some of the finest early 16th century in the country, aGreat Staircase which leads to a Great Drawing Room now boasting a new stunning Baroque plaster ceiling created by the modern master of the craft, Geoffrey Preston.

In 1805 the outside of the house together with some of the smaller reception rooms were remodelled in the 'gothic taste' by James Wyatt.


Opening
Opening

Open all year by appointment. £9.00 a head. Minimum charge for a tour £150.

Alternatively tours can be booked on prearranged dates via our Private Tours.

Find Us
Find us

From the A30: 10 miles west of Exeter turn off for Cheriton Bishop. After 0.6 miles take turning to left signed Dunsford.  Keep on this lane for 1.8 miles. At first crossroads turn left by a house, then turn almost immediately left at imposing turreted lodge gates.

Parking

Car park on site

  • Free parking

Accessibility
Accessibility
  • Accessible parking
  • Accessible toilets
Group Visits
Group Visits

Light refreshments, e.g. tea and coffee, are available. Cream teas, if asked for in advance, are priced at £8.50 per head.

Please check the website for further information, admission times and details for our special events

Visit website

Forthcoming Tours

25 Aug 2020
2PM - 4PM | £18.50

24 Sep 2020
2PM - 4PM | £18.50

Tour Overview

Go on a tour of the house led by a member of the family. Visitors are free to visit the gardens after the house tour.

Tour duration

1.5 hours

Tour prices

£17.50 per person.

Refreshments

Tea and cakes.

Special restrictions

No photography and no dogs allowed.

Weddings

We are not a 'Wedding Factory.'  Our rules are relaxed and adaptable to what the client wants. We charge a simple up front fee and there are no clever addons such as 'corkage' on wine. If you want a location where -within limits - you can design and manage your own special day then we might just be the location for you.

Facilities

  • Overnight guest accommodation
  • Guest parking
  • Wedding planner
  • Accessible parking
  • Bridal suite

Accommodation

We have nine bedrooms on the top floor-eight of them have either en suite or dedicated adjoining bathrooms, there is also one twin bedroom. On the first floor there are a further two double bedrooms with dedicated bathrooms.

The top floor of the house was done up in 2010 with the aim of providing top class accommodation with eight double bedrooms all with en suite or dedicated bathrooms which would be attractive to shooting parties or for wedding guests.

Their are extra bedrooms and bathrooms on the first floor but these are bedrooms often occupied by our children so guests must expect the odd old teddy bear and football poster intruding.


Corporate Hire

Corporate events

The Ballroom has superb acoustics- seats 120 in comfort - and is a spectacular room in which to host a conference/seminar.

Great Fulford has very impressive rooms in which to host corporate activity ranging from small events to seminars/conferences with up to 120/150 participants.

Externally the landscaped parkland and woodland lend themselves to all manner of activity from team building events motor car promotions.

Facilities

  • Wifi
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Refreshments
  • Overnight accommodation
  • Accessible toilets
  • Plentiful parking
  • Projector and screen
  • Lunch

Opening
Opening

Open all year by appointment. £9.00 a head. Minimum charge for a tour £150.

Alternatively tours can be booked on prearranged dates via our Private Tours.

Find Us
Find us

From the A30: 10 miles west of Exeter turn off for Cheriton Bishop. After 0.6 miles take turning to left signed Dunsford.  Keep on this lane for 1.8 miles. At first crossroads turn left by a house, then turn almost immediately left at imposing turreted lodge gates.

Parking

Car park on site

  • Free parking

Accessibility
Accessibility
  • Accessible parking
  • Accessible toilets
Group Visits
Group Visits

Light refreshments, e.g. tea and coffee, are available. Cream teas, if asked for in advance, are priced at £8.50 per head.

Other opening


Great Fulford's history and features

During the Civil wars of the mid 17th century the family were ardent cavaliers. Initially the house was held for the king by Colonel Sir Francis Fulford’s second son, Major Francis Fulford, but it was stormed by Parliamentarians in 1642, retaken by the royalists later when they besieged Exeter taken again by the roundheads in 1646 and garrisoned by them till the end of the war. The result was that the house was severely damaged. The family retired to Dorset during Cromwell’s rule and only came back to Fulford after the restoration. Much of the house though remained a ruin till the late 17th century when Colonel Francis Fulford repaired it all.

During the 18th century the family played little part in public affairs though Squire John Fulford went on a spectacular spending binge in the 1760’s which resulted in the Lake in front of the house being constructed and new drives laid out in the park as well as the purchase of lavish furnishings, not to mention having his portrait painted as a dashing cavalier clad in a fetching crimson costume and being one of the last people to employ a full time ‘fool dressed in the motley’. The result of his extravagance was financial embarrassment and much unentailed land and possessions were sold while Squire John and his wife took up residence in Italy where the cost of living was a fraction of that in England.

The Regency period was to see the last major building activity. By 1805 the family fortunes had fully recovered from Squire John’s excesses. Colonel Baldwin thus set about remodelling the house and employed the prolific architect James Wyatt to advise him. The result is the house as you see it today. Wyatt removed the gables from the top storey replacing them with battlements and throwing out the bays at the corners of the house.

Sadly Colonel Baldwin’s son, Baldwin the Bad, like his great uncle Squire John, vastly over spent his income. In 1861 he had accumulated over £60,000 of debts (approx. £6.0 million today) and had to flee the country. This burden of debt weighed heavily on the family for over a hundred years but fortunately they were blessed with a succession of owners who were prepared to make major sacrifices to ensure the house and estate remained in the family, as it still does today.


Fun Facts

During the Civil War the house we were royalists (thank goodness) and held the house for the king. It was besieged and taken in 1642, retaken later that year by royalists, then taken again and garrisoned by parliament in 1646.

There are several ghosts in the house. I have seen one, a young girl in a shift holding aloft a candle twice. When my wife and I got engaged they gave a party. As we lay in bed we could here them laughing, talking, wandering around above us as clearly as if you were in a flat and the people above you were having rather a rowdy gathering. A couple who were staying with us at the time also heard it (though in a separate part of the house) she woke up her husband so they could both listen to it. When we came back from our honeymoon they gave a hell of a party and we haven't heard them since!

We do host 'ghost tours' now and again and I am glad the ghosts are now helping financially to keep the house afloat.