Castle Hill in Filleigh parish, North Devon, is a privately owned early Palladian house built in 1730 by Hugh Fortescue, 14th Baron Clinton (1696–1751), later created in 1751 1st Baron Fortescue and 1st Earl of Clinton, son of Hugh Fortescue (died 1719). It is a rare example in Devon of an 18th-century country mansion on the grand scale and forms a highly impressive, unmissable and even dominating sight from the public highway which was, until 1988 when the A361 North Devon Link Road was opened, the main road west to Barnstaple and which appears purposely to meander past to afford the traveller maximum viewing opportunities. It was designated a Grade II* listed building in 1967, a Grade I status perhaps having been withheld due to the substantial modern reconstruction following a disastrous fire in 1934. Today the property is owned by Eleanor, Countess of Arran (born 1949), the granddaughter of Hugh Fortescue, 5th Earl Fortescue (1888–1958). The only historic residence of the Fortescue family now remaining as a seat of the Earls Fortescue is Ebrington Manor in Gloucestershire, a very modest building in comparison to Castle Hill.
Copyright: CC 3.0