Thursday, 29 September 2016

Montacute House and Barrington Court

Montacute House

Yeovil seems to be surrounded by National Trust properties and we start with Montacute House - wikipedia will tell you more than you ever wanted to know here.

Montacute front

This view is currently the rear of the house although when the house was built in Elizabethan times, it was the front. The house was built in an E shape possibly to honour the queen of the time.

Montacute rear side

This view is currently the front of the house (although the entrance for NT visitors is the other side in the rear). The fire engine is there because they were practicing accessing the roof in case of a fire. 


Montacute Drive

It was the construction of this drive which led to the rear becoming the front. The drive was created when a public road was built across its far end.

Montacute walls

The (now) rear lawn is enclosed by a rather fine stone fence / wall. 

Montacute Hedge

To one side is a hedge which in itself is famous because of its shape (the National Trust call it wobbly wobbly) and also because it is one mile long and takes 4 gardeners three months to cut.

Montacute Freeze

Inside the house in one of the first rooms we came to is this plaster panel. It depicts an example of rough justice dating from the 1600s. On the left, a henpecked husband has a drink whilst looking after the baby. His wife catches him and hits him with a shoe. A neighbour reports the incident to the village and the husband is punished by having an uncomfortable ride on a pole, while the inhabitants mock him. This is known locally as the Skimmington Ride” similar to one in “The Mayor of Casterbridge”.

Gobelins Tapestry The Hunter

Another room has a fine Gobelins tapestry called “The Hunter”, we have seen a lot of tapestries is various National Trust Houses and this was quite a good one.


Upstairs is a bath within a closet in a bedroom which was a rather unusual way of creating an en-suite.

Walter ralegh and son 3914When we were there, a good exhibition of portraits from the National Gallery including this painting of Walter Raleigh and Son. Because the house was not crowded when we were there, it was an opportunity to get up close to the paintings.









We thought it was a beautiful house despite the fact that compared to many other houses, little of the original furnishing exist inside the house. A lot of its beauty comes from the shape and history of the house.

Barrington Court

Not too far away is another superb National Trust house - Barrington Court.  This nearly empty Tudor House has gone through significant authentic restoration and together with its grounds it is quite majestic.

Barrington Court

The house is in the traditional E shape for an Elizabethan period house.

House 1625 Fireplace

Barington Court became a wreck and by the time is was repaired, very little of the original insides remained. One thing which did remain was the fireplace above dated 1625, it is very beautiful. In the attic is an amazing experience involving owls - I will say no more so as not to spoil it for anyone intending to go there.

Garden Wild Border

National Trust properties always seem to have inspired gardeners on their staff and here was no different. 

Garden 1

The borders were in full bloom when we were there

Garden Border

Garden Flower 001

with numerous beautiful flowers

Garden Flower

Garden Veg 001

and an interesting display of useful

Garden Veg

and or ornamental vegetables.

It is a very nice house to visit with a lot to learn if you take the effort to read all of the displays and notices in the numerous rooms of the house.



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