A La Ronde

Photos: A La Ronde house, shell collection and interior

A La Ronde house, shell collection and interior

A La Ronde is an idiosyncratic 16 sided house built in the 18th Century for cousins Jane and Mary Parminter. It houses their vast collections of shells and other mementoes from their grand tour of Europe. Jane designed the house herself and chose the many sided layout so that they could follow the sun’s progress throughout the day.

Today it’s in the care of the National Trust who open it up to visitors from around Easter time to the end of October.

At the very top of the house Jane and Mary painstakingly decorated the central gallery with nearly 25,000 shells. It’s too fragile to allow visitors in, but you can still see it via a touch screen 360 degree virtual tour.

There are tea rooms in the basement and tables and chairs on the lawn so that on warm days visitors can enjoy the beautiful views along the Exe valley to the coast.

Access to the grounds and tea rooms is free and, at the time of writing, adult tickets for the house are £8, a family ticket is around £20.

Chandler’s Cottage guest, SH, wrote “A La Ronde was an excellent visit” after her stay in Sidmouth in March 2016.


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