Poltimore Art 2019

Poltimore House and Grounds form a stunning backdrop to showcase artwork. The Rococo splendour of the Salloon, the Entrance Hall with its columns and staircase, the Courtyard with the echoes of its Tudor past and Jacobean tower staircase  and the Library provide opportunities for the exhibition of a variety of art from painting and photography to ceramics and glassware. Outside of the house the grounds provide open areas such as the Arena and Orchard , secret woodland spaces and vistas along the Lime Avenue and Aviary Avenue as well as notable trees such as the Coronet Oak, Monkey Puzzles and a Handkerchief Tree.

The organising committee is currently looking for expressions of interest from artists who would like to participate in Poltimore Art 2019. Please send your details with a brief summary of the type of work you would want to exhibit with a picture if possible. Booking details will be sent out in early April.

Wild About Wool at Poltimore House


Wild about Wool logo

With only a short time to go until the event here is an update on what is going on.

In the House

The main entrance hall

  • Not giving too many clues for this but it is definitely a different look to normal.

The Library

  • Jane Moor is demonstrating spinning, weaving and Peg loom rug making. She will also have items for sale
  • Devon Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers. Demonstrating fibre work eg spinning, fibre blending, table weaving loom
  • Display of artwork

The Saloon

  • Four seasons display

Matron’s office (The Dining Room)

  • Display to celebrate the many babies born in Poltimore House when it was a hospital.


  • Feltmakers at Bicton College. Demonstrations of feltmaking. Items for sale.

The Chapel

  • Bev Adams is demonstrating on some of her knitting machines with a display of what can be produced.
  • Rose Petal Faeries Wool felt faeries, witches and wizards.
  • Sweetpeas Crochet accessories, wooden craft tools.
  • Fleecewitch Alpaca fibre (natural and dyed), yarns (natural and dyed), handknit lace shawls.
  • Felt Folk Wool felt items and haberdashery. Felt sewing kits.
  • SoTo Felt Needle felted animals, bees, birds. Felt vessels, felt pictures. Cards, toys, silk paper, small packs of fibres.
  • Carol Tummon Handmade jewellery, felted vessels, felted scarves, felted bags, felted flowers, silk paper covered note books.
  • Unbelieveawool Hand dyed yarn in a rainbow of colour. A selection of knitting and crochet patterns designed by herself and other designers.
  • Jane Hawkins Wet and needle felted decorative items.
  • Gill Merrygold Textile items made from recycled materials. Bags, aprons, bunting, cards, folders, cushions.
  • Pickle-Lily Hand made bags and accessories for knitters and crocheters. Project bags from giant to petite. Toy carriers made with fabric and wool felt. I Spy bags.
  • Felt Like a Hat Hand made felt items.
  • Stan Browning Framed artworks. (larger pieces on display in Library)
  • Sheeplines Knitted and woven garments and textiles from her flock of Coloured Shetland Sheep.
  • The Flintstone Flock Sheepskins Unique selection of sheepskin rugs, cushions, pouffes, seat pads, draft excluders, woven throws, rugs. Raw wool and yarns.
  • Lilypond Yarns  Quality yarn hand dyed in Devon.
  • Knitting clinic – bring a work in progress or stop for a knitting chat.
  • Poltimore Shop Pens, cards and books about the house. Plants, wooden stands, logs, produce.
  • Poltimore Cafe Teas, coffees, cakes and light lunches.

In the grounds

  • Lady Baa Baa to great you as you arrive in the car park
  • Yarnbombed trees
  • Chidren’s play wigwam
  • Treasure hunt
  • Wild weave – find the hidden loom and add a row or two.
  • Say “hello” to the llamas


‘Age & Beauty’ Exhibition Saturday/Sunday 14/15 July 2018

News Item 22 July 2018


Poltimore House celebrates the success of its ‘Age & Beauty’ contemporary art exhibition.

News Item 22 July 2018



Visitors to Poltimore House last weekend were full of praise for the quality of artwork and organisation of the first exhibition of contemporary art and craft to be held at this unique and historical venue.


Responses to the exhibition included:

“Amazingly sensitive curation of an exhibition perfectly fitted to its environment”


“Excellent artwork in fantastic setting” and


“Wonderfully atmospheric & beautiful place.  Tremendous inspiration for artists/makers/photographers!”



Over the weekend of 14/15 July Poltimore House welcomed an international audience of over 200 to the exhibition including visitors from Switzerland; Texas & California (USA); Italy and Spain.


Graham Fich representing Poltimore Trust thanked the Friends and volunteers for all their hard work, particularly in preparing the House and setting up for the exhibition.  The restrictions of this Grade 2* listed building created additional challenges in the hanging, lighting and displaying of the art work, however as a result the building became part and parcel of the exhibition itself.


Helen Creedy, curator of the exhibition says:

“It was a privilege to work with a diverse range of talented artists in such an inspirational setting”


To find out a bit more about the artists and the exhibition take a look at the Catalogue.


Age & Beauty Catalogue


News Item 1 July

‘Age & Beauty’ Exhibition

Saturday/Sunday 14/15 July 2018

Poltimore is pleased to announce the local artists and craft-makers exhibiting at Poltimore House in July:

Alice Antliff;  Bethany Antliff;  Michael Baldwin;  Mim Brigham;  Rebecca Child;  Christine Cole;  Christopher Custons-Cole;  Helen Creedy;  Emily Hakin;  Katherine Howes;  Kirstie Montague;  Ratna Saksena;  Karen Waterlow;  Helena Whitten.


Preparations for the exhibition are now in the final stages.  Exhibitors are finishing work inspired by their visits to Poltimore House and hoping the paint will dry in time, Poltimore volunteers are busy preparing the House whilst working around the TYPiFY Festival and the curator is trying to remember what she may have forgotten before its too late to do anything about it.


And finally, we are all looking forward very much to seeing you in a couple of weeks time at the exhibition.


For now a little bit about more of our artists:


Bethany Antliff

Bethany Antliff

Bethany Antliff

Bethany Antliff ‘s practice makes enquiry into the ongoing issues environmental issues resulting from ever-increasing human consumption.  During her Bachelor of Arts Degree Bethany has developed a visual language that has resulted from an extensive enquiry into materials and processes.

Untitled 3 by Bethany Antliff

Untitled 3 – Bethany Antliff

Beth uses an interdisciplinary approach combining glass and ceramics to make aesthetic enquiry of the interrelationship between earth and water.  More specifically the symbiotic relationships that make up lichen on land, and coral in the ocean. Bethany uses her aesthetic enquiry to encourage a greater appreciation of the natural world and invites the viewer to reconsider the way we coexist within our shared environment.

Instagram: baceramics_glass



Helena Whitten

Helena Whitten

Helena Whiten

Helena has recently completed a BA in Fine Art the University Somerset, and an FDA at Exeter School of Art.  Her long exposure photography challenges the concept of the frozen instant conventionally depicted by the photograph. Paradoxically, people move within her still images, and their actions hint at longer narratives and timeframes.

Now winter by Helena Whitten

Now Winter – Helena Whitten

As these ghostly figures blur and fade they seem to succumb to the act of forgetting.  She says, “I find myself drawn to buildings such as Poltimore. There is unexpected beauty in these secret ruined places, as crumbling buildings struggle valiantly against their final obliteration.”






Ratna Saksena

Ratna Saksena is a multimedia artist who works with everyday objects and materials to explore the meaning of things.

The Great PFI Swindle by Ratna Saksena

The Great PFI Swindle – Ratna Saksena

In an ongoing printmaking project she has used pharmaceutical packaging.  One strand uses the physical presence of the tablet cartons and blisters to reveal overlooked marks, wear and tear, hidden language and Braille.  The other strand is the box itself acting as a ground on which to rest the imagery.  She is showing work for the exhibition inspired by Poltimore House, its history and objects she discovered during her recent visits.

Blood Sweat and Tears by Ratna Saksena

Blood Sweat and Tears – Ratna Saksena




News Item 18 June


On this occasion we feature two more artists:


Mim Brigham

Mim Brigham

© Picture by Sean Hernon Mobile : 07543 648286 20/11/2014 Plymouth College of Art.

‘Award winning’ Cornish Artist Mim Brigham specialises in a combination of hot and warm glass to create stunning pieces that are both literal and abstract, using the glass as a medium.


All her current designs are inspired by an image Mim found in an old Biology book of a cross-section of a blade of marram grass down the microscope. This is the grass found on the sand dunes around the country.  Each piece is handmade and completely unique with colours derived from the seaside.


Mim’s piece ‘Marram Grass’ is used as the main image on publicity for the ‘Age & Beauty’ Exhibition.  More information about her work can be found on her web site or instagram mbmglass.


Karen Waterlow – Printmaker

Picture of Karen Waterlow

Karen Waterlow

I returned to art as a career about 4 years ago after many years in business. My passion is print making and I am a full time member of the Double Elephant Printmaking Group who are based in Exeter.


I have lived in Exeter for over 12 years and find much of the inspiration for my printmaking around the city and in the glorious countryside and coastline of the west country. I have produced many images of iconic views and historic buildings in our area and even domestic images such as the famous Devon Cream Tea.


Picture by Karen Waterlow - Old Orchard

Old Orchard

I primarily use collagraph and drypoint as printing techniques to produce highly textural art prints and each piece is individual. Poltimore House is an iconic Exeter building with unique beautiful interiors. The crumbling plasterwork with their faded grandeur have inspired my most


Helen Creedy

The first-time curator of the exhibition, Helen Creedy is a glass artist and graduate of Plymouth College of Art.  She has been a volunteer at Poltimore House for the past 5 years.


Helen Creedy

Helen Creedy


Previously featured artists are Rebecca Child & Emily Hakin:


Rebecca Child

Rebecca Child

Rebecca Child

Charcoal sketch of entrance hall

Charcoal sketch – Entrance Hall

“My main career was as an architect, the training and practice influencing my current work, seeing, remembering and imagining places.  My work starts with the world around me – a place, a collection of postcards with emotional significance, a jug of tulips.  Drawing is the start and the investigation, whether the intention is to make a print or the drawing is the final outcome.  I work quickly in charcoal, to change and re-change the drawing, to show the marks which become part of the story.  I have been making drawings in different rooms in Poltimore over a few weeks.”



Emily Hakin

Emily Hakin

Emily Hakin

“I am currently studying an MA in Drawing at the Plymouth College of Art.  As an artist I am interested in history and conservation, archiving, memory, story telling and challenging disappearance through drawing.  Although my practice is mainly graphite based, I am excited to work with mixed media in response to my time spent at Poltimore House and I look forward to expanding my use of materials and experimenting with display.”

Emily Hakin drawing


Inspired by her first visit to Poltimore House, Emily documents her response in her blog on her web site


GDPR – Data Protection Privacy Policy

New Privacy Policy

To all members of The Friends of Poltimore House (FoPH),

Your privacy is important to The FoPH and we take our responsibility regarding the security of your personal information very seriously.

We are committed to protecting your personal information and to being transparent about the information we are collecting about you and what we do with it.

New data protection rules known as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) come into effect on the 25th May 2018.

To reflect the newest changes in data protection law, and our commitment to transparency, we are updating our Data Protection Privacy Policy which will be posted on our website soon.

We understand that receiving your data involves great deal of trust on your part and this trust is very important to us. We will not and have not passed on any of your information onto any other party outside our organisation.

You can contact us at for more information.

Thank you for your continuing support.

The Committee at The Friends of Poltimore House

‘Age & Beauty’ Exhibition Saturday/Sunday 14/15 July 2018

Poltimore is pleased to announce the local artists and craft-makers exhibiting at Poltimore House in July:

Alice Antliff;  Bethany Antliff;  Michael Baldwin;  Mim Brigham;  Rebecca Child;  Christine Cole;  Christopher Custons-Cole;  Helen Creedy;  Emily Hakin;  Katherine Howes;  Kirstie Montague;  Ratna Saksena;  Karen Waterlow;  Helena Whitten.


Please watch this space to find out more about the artists and how the preparations for the exhibition are progressing.


Our first featured artist is also our curator Helen Creedy, a glass artist who studied at Plymouth College of Art and has been a volunteer at Poltimore for the past 5 years.  She primarily works in warm and cast glass and has a particular interest in printing with enamels. 






She says of the exhibition:


“I find Poltimore House to be a unique and inspirational exhibition space, both as an artist and as a curator.  Having met the other artists and seen examples of their work I am very excited about this exhibition – I think its going to be a treat for anyone with an interest in contemporary art and craft.  Hopefully the audience will agree.”

Friends of Poltimore House – AGM Nomination Form 2018

Click on the link below to print a copy of the Nomination form.

FoPH Committee Election 2018

Changes to the Grounds 2016

12 Years of volunteering have seen many changes taking place at this fabulous grade 2* house. The grounds have been transformed from what was little more than a wilderness, to an inviting and peaceful garden featuring many rare and some nationally important planting. In 2016 the first major improvement for visitors entering the site is the resurfaced driveway which was completed earlier in the year. Preparation work was carried out by volunteers prior to the contractors’ resurfacing. Poltimore House Trust in conjunction with Devon County Council Transforming Lives Project, which brings volunteers to the site, received a grant from Public Health England to provide materials and equipment to assist volunteers with maintenance and improvement on the site.  

Lately a small growing area has been created, edged by tree whips that will be cut back to form a hedge and also fenced with rabbit/deer proof fencing. Volunteers have constructed two polytunnels, one is up and running, and the other is nearing completion. A water supply from the site’s underground storage tanks is being connected. Volunteers will be encouraged to grow food to eat and for sale to visitors.

The grant also provided materials for “all weather” paths around the grounds, old drainage channels that had become blocked have been dug out and cleared and new pipes laid. Elsewhere safety improvements have been carried out in the car park to improve traffic flow.

Wet weather early this year hampered our activities. However we decided there was no better time to create a water feature around the natural spring which flows through the well in the orchard area. This involved clearing logs and undergrowth, then widening the banks to form a series of ponds and waterfalls down to the drainage channel that runs through the poplar tree avenue. The banks were planted up with irises and ferns. It is intended to plant more wild flowers in the area to encourage butterflies and bees. A lot of frogspawn was found in the boggy areas along the front drive and this was transferred to the new ponds resulting in a thriving frog population in this area.

On the historical side a small test pit has recently been dug by members of the Poltimore Estate Research Society (PERS) to establish whether a canal depicted in a 1716 Prideaux drawing did in fact exist or was just a suggested garden design.   A wall has been uncovered proving that the canal did exist where it was estimated to be. Further research by means of ground penetrating radar equipment has recently been undertaken and results are currently being analysed. The pit has been left open for the time being for the benefit of visitors with an explanatory information board placed beside it.

Mowing the lawns and weeding flower beds are a constant requirement which we have struggled to keep up with this year. Anyone interested in helping with this work will be warmly welcomed to join the volunteer team. Please contact us .

 Prideaux - Plate 82 Poltimore House - The Canal Front copy


Britain’s Heritage Heroes

Poltimore House and its community of volunteers chosen as one of Britain’s Heritage Heroes

Craven_Hudson_Sept_2011_2 Craven_Hudson_Sept_2011_3

Poltimore House was featured on the BBC2 programme Britain’s Heritage Heroes on Wednesday 22 February 2012.

Back in September John Craven and Jules Hudson and the team burst onto the Poltimore House scene, to find out all about the huge volunteer efforts going into the project to restore the house and bring it back into use for the community of East Devon and Exeter. They met Friends and Trustees, heard about how the stucco in the famous Saloon was made (and now needs restoration) and learnt about the contribution of the Shilhay Community to the development of the Project Centre, created from renovation of the building that housed the 1908 kitchens.

John and Jules have been tracked on three heritage hero journeys across England and we saw what they made of Devon – and Poltimore House.

Tern Television says: ‘Devon is home to five areas of outstanding natural beauty and two national parks. It’s a stunning county filled with people keen to keep the heritage of every beach, bay and pasture alive. John Craven and Jules Hudson try traditional farming with shire horses, learn about the craft of cob building and visit two historic homes providing their communities with a place to enjoy once again’.

More information about the series can be found at

Poltimore House needs your help! We have all kinds of opportunities for volunteering and welcome all skills and expertise.

Volunteers help with our many events (details on our website and leaflet), work in the grounds and on building renovation, and on organisation and administration. Come and hear about the project and what you can contribute, what new skills you can learn.

For further information contact Pat Wakeman, Volunteer Coordinator, Poltimore House, Poltimore, Exeter EX4 0AU, Tel: 01392 248938 or email Website:

Corporate Volunteering

Poltimore House and Grounds has a history of volunteering since 2004. Today, The Poltimore House Trust is working with The Friends of Poltimore House, vulnerable volunteers, school children, students, charitable organisations, corporate volunteers and community volunteers. Many events, workshops and volunteering opportunities have given people the vital skills they need for employment, as well as the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company, give something back to the community and learn new skills.

Why Corporate Volunteering?

Corporate volunteering is proven to have a significant positive impact on your business:

  • Employees are excellent ambassadors for your company and their involvement in local volunteering generates positive attitudes towards your company
  • Volunteering increases employee job satisfaction, which improves corporate culture and the recruitment and retention of employees in the long run
  • Volunteering projects provide employees with a welcome break from their desks, while having fun collaborating with colleagues in a unique setting and making a meaningful contribution to society.
  • Corporate volunteering helps to break down social barriers in communities, which translates to a more harmonised, efficient workforce.

Who are the current corporate volunteers at Poltimore House?

EDF Energy, The University of Exeter, The Royal College of Nursing and The Environment Agency.

Simon Tootell, Events and Volunteer Co-ordinator at Poltimore House, expressed recently to a group from EDF Energy how valuable the work of corporate volunteers is to the restoration of Poltimore House and Grounds:

“The Jigsaw may have 10,000 pieces, but every piece put back enables the community and other charitable organisations to benefit from their engagement with Poltimore House. The maintenance and development requires an army of people. Without the generous voluntary work of so many the project would be unable to move forward. With the imminent residential development in West Clyst and the construction of a new town – Cranbrook, Poltimore House will play a vital role in the provision of community engagement, learning and recreational space.”

Some feedback from EDF Energy volunteers:

I really enjoyed the day at Poltimore House. As well as discovering new things about each other in a new environment, I found the tour that Simon gave us and the history of the house fascinating. After hearing about the state the house was in when the Trust gained ownership in 2000, and seeing it today, it really shows what teamwork and dedication can achieve. The fact Poltimore House works in close relationship with the Shilhay Community and play its part of putting people back into the community really impressed me and was something I didn’t expect. I really hope we can go back next year and continue to work with this worthwhile cause.

I found Poltimore house to be a great team activity. There is always so much that needs doing, it caters for people’s different strengths and weaknesses, and helps the team to meet outside the EDF office.

If your organisation would like to volunteer at Poltimore House and Grounds then please contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator by clicking Here

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