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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dartington Hall

Dartington Hall, just north of Totnes, is a progressive arts and education centre first established in 1935 by the American millionaire Dorothy Elmhirst and her husband Leonard Elmhirst through the registered charity The Dartington Hall Trust.

The Elmhirsts purchased the virtually derelict 14th century manor house, which was first built for the half-brother of King Richard II, in 1925 and used it as a base for their ideas on rural regeneration, education and the arts.

The Elmhirst's experiment, based on the work of Rabindranath Tagore in India, attracted help and support from many prominent people over time including Aldous Huxley, Jacqueline du Pré, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten, T E Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia), Bernard Leach, Walter Gropius, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell and HG Wells to name but a few.

The Dartington Hall Trust now encompasses the International Summer School of music, Research in Practice, Schumacher College (promoting sustainable living), The Arts at Dartington, the Devon School for Social Entrepreneurs and the Cider Press Centre promoting local crafts and products.

Dartington Hall also serves as a conference centre and wedding venue with the acclaimed White Hart Bar and Restaurant on the premises along with a range of bed & breakfast accommodation available.

The beautiful estate gardens include a tiltyard (an area for jousting) and sculptures by Henry Moore, Willi Soukop and Peter Randall-Page.

The progressive Dartington Hall School was also located on the estate from 1926 until its closure in 1987.

The Dartington Hall Trust
The Elmhirst Centre
Dartington Hall
Devon TQ9 6EL
Tel: 01803 847000

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