Monday, 19 November 2012


Last week we had some friends staying for part of the half term holiday and we took a trip to nearby Montacute House. I'd only been there once before and, because I had DC with me and because the house was only open for tours at specific times, had only looked around the grounds. As a result, I put Montacute below Barrington Court on my list of favourite NT properties in the near vicinity (not that that means much as there are only four around here anyway, and I've only visited three of them...)

However, after this visit, I may have changed my mind.

Here's one view of the late 16th century house - the front, I assume, due to the long drive (known as the West Drive) that leads up to it.
Quite an imposing entrance.
And just some of the trees around and about.

Then, around the side is a fabulous Orangery. The National Trust are in the process of replanting/restoring it internally so it looks like it did in the 'olden days'.
The wobbly, bobbly, nobbly hedge.
The fountain/fish pond.

The rear of the house.
Then we went inside and I felt too self-conscious to take any photos! Sorry, not v blog-friendly, I know. However, the National Trust has some photos of the inside, so I've borrowed some of theirs to give you an idea of what this fabulous house looks like:

This is the Great Hall, one of the first rooms you come to upon entering the house.
A different shot of the same room.
Fabulous stained glass to be found all around.
On the second floor is a wonderful set of antique samplers from the Goodheart collection.

And the piece de resistance, the Long Gallery on the top floor. The longest of its kind in England, it measures 176 feet in length. In the 'olden' days it was used as a place for exercising when the weather wasn't good enough for a stroll around the extensive grounds.
But nowadays, it's home to a large collection of Tudor and Jacobean portraits on loan from The National Portrait Gallery. No photos are allowed, so I couldn't get any shots up here, but this one from the NT itself gives you an idea of the main space which has several rooms off to each side where the portraits are housed.

If you are in the vicinity, I would absolutely whole-heartedly recommend a visit to Montacute, and especially to the Long Gallery.

1 comment:

  1. When I found out that part of Sense and Sensibility was filmed there I had to visit. There were no tours, they just let you wander. Lovely place, have gone back twice.


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