West Quantoxhead

  • West Quantoxhead

    West Quantoxhead is a mixture of old cottages and farm buildings, modern houses, one or two shops and a large pub.

  • West Quantoxhead church

    But there are some odd things about this village.

    The first odd thing about West Quantoxhead is that it has two names: some people call it St Audries.

The second thing is its odd shape. All the houses are on one side of the road. The church is all by itself on the other side of the road.

How did West Quantoxhead get its shape?

The explanation is that, since the 18th century, the layout of St.Audries/West Quantoxhead has been completely reorganised by its owners. Originally, there was no A39, and the modern day village was just a tiny hamlet called Staple. Cottages did cluster round the church and along a lane that led straight past St Audries manor towards the sea. But the owners wanted to improve the manor and enlarge its park, and they didn’t want the village street running straight past their house. The villagers started to move out and live in Staple instead. Eventually in 1828, the new main road was built, curving round the end of the hill and avoiding St Audries Manor completely.

  • St Audries House

    The third thing you notice is that, past the church, down a very long drive, in the middle of a very big park with beautiful views is an extremely grand mansion. It is called St Audries House.

More about St Audries

  • Sir Peregrine diverted a stream to create this dramatic cascade of water tumbling over the cliff. Artificial waterfalls were popular landscape features.

    Sir Peregrine Acland bought St Audries in 1836. He rebuilt the house, added stables, walled gardens and an orangery, and completed the improvements’ to the grounds, including water features and a swimming pool.

  • An old postcard showing the landscaped parkland around the house.

    He turned Stowborrow Hill into a deer park, and stocked it with over 100 deer.

  • Church Lodge

    He also built four new lodges at the entrances to the park, and surrounded it with iron gates and railings.

  • Railings with hanging chains and ‘fleur de lys’ style uprights

    He rebuilt and modernised Home Farm and even provided the estate with gas. They made the gas from Welsh coal which was shipped to St Audries Bay.

  • For the people of West Quantoxhead he built a village school, and, because the old church was so derelict, he knocked it down built a new one.

  • St Audries Bay

    St Audries Bay has the sandiest beach for miles, popular for seaside holidays.

  • The caravan park St Audries Bay.

    Now it is a holiday village with caravans and chalets.

  • Beacon Hill

    High above West Quantoxhead is Beacon Hill. From here you can see for miles.