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Home > England > Wiltshire > Devizes > Cleeve House

Cleeve House

In the heart of the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, Cleeve House is an Edwardian mansion just outside the peaceful village of Seend. Spacious and steeped in history, the house is surrounded by six acres of private gardens and woodland.

Cleeve House has eight bedrooms, three with en suite bathrooms, commanding unspoilt views over the Vale of Pewsey and Salisbury Plain. With high ceilings and polished pine floors, spectacular sunrises fill the south rooms. We have single, double, twin and family rooms available, and all rooms have tea and coffee making facilities. We provide a full English or continental breakfast. Although we don't serve an evening meal, there are two lovely country pubs in walking distance and many more in the surrounding area.

Cleeve House also runs a Tea Room from Thursday to Sunday serving a delicious range of homemade cakes, with hot and cold drinks, snacks and light lunches. Our speciality is our cream tea served with Cornish clotted cream and freshly made scones. We have plenty of tables outside on the West Terrace so you can enjoy your tea in the shade of our Chinese Maple trees, while gazing peacefully over the beautiful fields towards Salisbury Plain.

The land around Cleeve House includes an extensive field, an ornamental cherry tree garden, two paved terraces and a large private wood with rare and beautiful trees. Snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells fill the grounds in Spring, under lilac, cherry and apple blossom.

In 1857, the eminent land-owner Wadham Locke III owned a property in Seend called Rew House. After knocking it down, his son, Wadham Locke IV built Cleeve House half a mile from the original site, to be the Wadham family home. He and his five sisters made their home here, and one sister, Frances Locke, became famous for going to the Crimean War. She was the last Locke to live at Cleeve House, and when she left in 1883 the building was sold to the Bell Family.

Squire William Heward Bell, having built his fortune on the family's coal mines in Merthyr Tydfil, purchased the property for his family. He pulled down a large amount of the building and rebuilt what is now the Great Hall and adjoining entrance porch in 1884.

Squire Bell and his wife, Hannah Taylor Cory Bell, had four children, one of whom was the famous writer and critic Clive Bell. In 1907, the final part of the Cleeve House, including the Library and above bedrooms were built to 'make the house more comfortable' as it was the year of Clive Bell's marriage to Vanessa Stephen. Both Clive and Vanessa Bell were important members of the culturally revolutionary Bloomsbury group, in which Clive's writing was influential, and Vanessa was a prominent artist.

The young Vanessa Stephen pursued art as her profession while her sister, Virginia Woolf, chose writing. Close to her sister throughout her often-troubled life, Virginia Woolf visited Vanessa Bell in Cleeve House, and wrote about the house in her famous diaries. Of the four Bell children, Colonel W Cory Bell, who was an MP and Sheriff of Wiltshire, lived at Cleeve House longest, until his death in 1961.

The Bell family crest adorns the front porch, and personal Bell inscriptions can be found among the stone and woodwork throughout the house.

Situated in the centre of Wiltshire, Cleeve House is close to the historical and magnificent sites of Avebury, Silbury Hill and the world renowned Stonehenge. Among the local picturesque and peaceful towns are the medieval town of Devizes and the historical and beautiful Salisbury, while the Roman Spa city of Bath is about a thirty minute drive away. Longleat Safari Park and the Westbury White Horse are also nearby. The Kennet and Avon Canal runs through Seend, providing beautiful walking or cycling routes to the local towns, and miles of unspoilt countryside lie in every direction.

Longleat Safari Park
From the majestic to the mischievous, the cute to the colossal, the sleek to the stripy, and the tallest to the smallest, enjoy incredibly close encounters with some of the worlds most amazing animals in our drive through Safari Park.

Kennet and Avon Canal
The Trust has been in existence for over 40 years. It was formed to restore the, then closed, Kennet & Avon Canal from Reading to Bristol as a 'through' navigation and as a public amenity.

Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral is a beautiful and historic building, an international symbol of Christianity and a world class heritage attraction.

Roman Baths
The best preserved Roman religious spa from the ancient world.

World-famous stone circle at the heart of a prehistoric landscape. Archaeological finds displayed in on-site museum.

Looking to find out about Stonehenge and other ancient Stone Henge sites and stone circles within Britain? Or for practical information to make your visit easier

Westbury White Horse
Westbury White Horse, sometimes referred to as Bratton White Horse, is cut into a steeply sloping hill just below the Iron Age hillfort of Bratton Camp, overlooking the town of Westbury.

Contact Details

Address: Cleeve House
Trowbridge Road
Seend, Nr. Melksham
SN12 6PG
Telephone 01380 827 129

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This page was last updated: 29 July 2010

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