Killerton, with the estate of Holnicote, totalling 6,400 hectares, was given without contents to the National Trust by Sir Richard Acland (1906–1990), 15th Bt, a descendant of one of the oldest Devon families, in 1944. The house accommodated two schools, evacuated during the Second World War, whilst the contents were moved to the dower-house at Sprydon and to a store in Exeter that was destroyed by bombing. Some of the pictures have been acquired subsequently by private treaty sale, notably: Lydia Hoare, Lady Acland with her sons Thomas and Arthur by Sir Thomas Lawrence; a rare oil painting of 1785 by Francis Towne, showing Holnicote from the south-west; the original painting of Robert Pollard’s well-known print of Lady Harriet Acland crossing the Hudson, to plead for the release of her husband, Colonel John Dyke Acland, during the American War of Independence; and two charming conversation pieces by Henry Singleton: one, known as 'The Pastor's Fireside: The family of Sir Thomas Acland, 10th Bt, Being Read to by the Vicar of Silverton'.
National Trust, Killerton
Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon EX5 3LE England
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