BY CHARLES EVANS
This peculiar, circular house, erected by two artistic spinsters and filled out with their curious handicrafts, was built about 1800. The Misses Jane and Mary Parminter, of good Devon middle class stock, travelled abroad for a decade sight-seeing, then decided to continue their association at Exmouth in a house which they designed to incorporate certain features of the Byzantine Church of San Vitale, Ravenna.
There is indeed an octagonal hall 60 feet high, and its upper surfaces are encrusted with mosaics, but executed in feathers and shells. Shells and grottoes fill fireplaces, there are pictures executed in sand and seaweed, furniture either hand-painted or of doll’s house size, and rows of family silhouettes.
A La Ronde is now under the control of the National Trust and is a pleasant location to enjoy afternoon tea on a summer’s day cooled by breeze coming off the coast at Exmouth.