" You are a child of the universe –
no less than the trees and stars; you have a right to be here…" Max Ehrmann
In times gone by the hearth was the centre of the home and community, the place where the fire was tended, offering warmth, nourishment and elemental connection. What we seek to offer here is contained in this ancient but familiar word: warmth, heart, home and haven.
Born of fire, the hearth is also a place of tempering and transforming, where elements of the self, each other and the natural world can combine to effect change, inside and out. We aim to offer an experience of restoration and belonging; to ourselves and to the earth.
To us, being in the voluptuous, verdant landscape of southern Devon feels like being cradled by our great, geological Mother. Spanning across a steeply-sloping valley, the land extends over sixteen acres of meadows and woodland in the heart of the South Hams.
At the heart of the site lies an old 19th century slate quarry - an unexpectedly magical realm that is evidence of nature’s capacity to recover from heavy-handed human intervention. Its wild vegetation and stark slate walls invite stillness. It's a scar that reflects our own wounds and our story of separation from Nature, inviting realignment with our essential selves and the fabric of life that sustains us.
At the far end of the site there is mature woodland and an old hazel coppice that we are restoring to provide our own firewood and increase different wildlife habitats. Between the woodland and the accommodation there is a steep, shallow valley with stunning views and a small stream to explore. Blackbirds, buzzards, owls, woodpeckers, jays, bats, deer, slowworms, even glow-worms, abound!
We’ve planted a small orchard and keep a motley flock of chickens. We’ve just begun keeping bees to encourage widespread pollination. In time we plan to implement a permaculture-growing project to provide our own vegetables.
Though we are by no means fossil free our activities here are carefully considered in terms of their impact on biodiversity. We are working in conjunction with the Devon Wildlife Trust to restore a large wildflower meadow, plant native broadleaf trees, extend hedging, and have installed off-grid accommodation and compost loos. In addition we provide natural toiletries, organic linen, and locally-made matresses to reduce toxicity and carbon emissions.
Beyond offering soulful stays, we envision holding immersive retreats and occasional events to support connection with ourselves and the Earth. If you have an interest in taking part in any of the projects here, holding your own retreat, or if you have suggestions to support our developments, please get in touch.