The dramatic Knightshayes was built by Sir John Heathcoat Amory, the grandson of John Heathcoat, creator of the mechanised bobbin lace making machine and owner of a lace factory in Tiverton. Sir John Heathcoat and his family moved to Tiverton in 1816, after their lace making business in Loughborough was destroyed. The foundation stone was laid in 1869 and this large house was developed in spectacular gothic revival style over the years that followed. From the house Sir John could see his factory in Tiverton and some of the dwellings of his workforce!
The grounds and gardens are stunning and reason on their own to visit this particular National Trust property. Tiverton is an attractive town that lies 12 miles north of Exeter. A car is needed for a trip from Sandays, would normally allow 45 minutes to an hour. Worth the effort and try and include a stop at the delightful Bickleigh Mill too on the way back.