Somerset Historic Houses

Barrington CourtIn Barrington, 3 miles north-east of Ilminster, off B3168 Moated 16th century mansion, with a Gothic style with French Renaissance influence. The builder is either Henry, 2nd Lord Daubeney or William Clifton. The Daubeney family were members of the Tudor court. In 1552 the 2nd Lord sold it to William Clifton then passing through several hands until acquired in 1623 by the Strode family who lived here for 150 years. Falling into disrepair, in 1907 the property was purchased by the National Trust and leased to Colonel A.A. Lyle in 1920 when it was restored and refurbished. The formal garden includes a kitchen garden. more information
Coleridge CottageAt Nether Stowey, 8 miles west of Bridgwater, on A39 In December 1796 the young Samuel Taylor Coleridge moved into this cottage with his wife Sara and their infant son David Hartley. The cottage was much smaller then, with a thatched rather than tiled roof. They lived here for three years and here Coleridge wrote some of his finest poems. In 1797 William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came to live at Alfoxden. In the 19th century the cottage was altered and only four rooms remain that existed in Coleridge's day. Mementos of the poet are displayed. more information
Forde Abbey4 miles south-east of Chard, off B3167 Founded by Cistercian monks almost 900 years ago, the monks remained at the Abbey until Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. The building stood empty for a hundred years until it became a family residence. The medieval building was modified in the 17th century in an attempt to transform it into an Italian palazzo. Little has changed since 1700 and it is still a family home. Set in beautiful Dorset countryside. The mellow stonework blends in well with the surrounding gardens. 30 acres with five lakes, a bog garden, herbaceous borders, an arboretum, splendid trees and shrubs. more information
Lytes Cary Manor2.5 miles south-east of Somerton at Kingsdon, off A303 Built by the Lyte family who owned the property for 500 years from the 13th to the 18th century. Features includes a chapel, a Tudor Great Hall, the Great Chamber of 1533, and the Great Parlour. John Lyte's son Henry was a horticulturist who created a botanic garden here, in 1578 he published his 'Niewe Herball'. Sold in 1748 the building fell into disrepair, but was rescued in 1907 by Sir Walter Jenner who refurnished the manor house, he died in 1948 leaving the house to the National Trust. more information
Montacute House4 miles west of Yeovil, off A3088 An Elizabethan mansion and one of the best preserved in Britain. Built at the end of the 16th century for Sir Edward Phelip, it was constructed of Ham Hill stone. The interior is impressive with many Renaissance features, the Long Gallery measures 172 feet. Almost demolished in 1931, it passed to the National Trust. Collection of 17th and 18th century furniture and tapestries. The National Portrait Gallery has provided a loan of paintings from the Elizabethan and Jacobean period in the Long Gallery and adjoining rooms. The garden is formal with a landscaped park. more information
SelworthyOn the Holnicote Estate, on A39 between Minehead and Porlock The village of Selworthy is in the heart of the Holnicote estate on the northern fringes of Exmoor. The 12,443 acres is the National Trust's main property on Exmoor. Selworthy was rebuilt in 1828 by Sir Thomas Acland of Killerton who designed the 'model' village, laid out around a long green and climbs up hill to the 15th century All Saints church. One cottage is a National Trust information centre. more information
Treasurer's HouseIn village of Martock, 1 mile north-west of A303 between Ilminster and Ilchester A late-medieval building The oldest part of the house is the solar or great chamber built in the 13th century, it also has a great hall which was completed in 1293, 15th century kitchen and parlour The above average accommodation at the Treasurer's occasional country residence was in keeping with the status of a high official of the Church. It became a vicarage until the middle of the 19th century when it passed into private hands. Refurbished by the National Trust. more information