Visit Montacute and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Montacute, Somerset. An almost entirely Ham-stone village with beside it one of the finest Elizabethan houses in Britain, also of Ham stone. Montacute House was basically built 1588ó1601 for Edward Phelips probably by the mason-architect William Arnold, also responsible for Wadham College, Oxford and the remodelling of Dunster Castle. The Phelipses were a lawyer-politician family: Edward became Speaker of the House of Commons in 1604 and prosecuted at the trial of Guy Fawkes in 1606. The house remained in the family till 1931 when it was bought for the National Trust. From 1915 to his death in 1925 it was rented as his country home by Lord Curzon and redecorated for him by Elinor Glyn.
Its east front is beautiful; so are the gardens, still immaculately kept, with big lawns and clipped yew trees. The heavier west front was, apart from the wings, added later but is in style about 50 years earlier. It was brought stone by stone in 1786 from Clifton Maybank House, about 6 miles South East, at Bradford Abbas, then being partially demolished. Until this was added Montacute had, like most Tudor houses, no corridors. The contents include good plasterwork, panelling, tapestries, paintings and furniture.
The village church contains fine 15th and 16th century effigies of Phelipses. Its chancel arch is Norman, transepts and north porch c. 1300, and the rest mainly 15th century. Just South West of it, the embattled building, now a private residence, was the 15th century gatehouse of a priory (originally Clumac) founded in 1102, nothing else of which remains. The village's name derives from the wooded hillaboveómonsacutus: the pointed hill-on which in the 11th century a vision caused to be dug up the Holy Cross of Waltham Abbey, Essex. The summit tower is a 1760 folly on the site of a vanished Norman castle.
At Tintinhull, 1½ miles North, is another, but very different, National Trust house with an exquisite garden and lily-pond. It is mainly c. 1600 with fine early 18th century west front, pediment and hipped roof, and contains excellent, unpretentious furniture.
The very attractive Tintinhull Court, well seen from the road near the church, is mostly Jacobean.
Nearby towns: Crewkerne, Langport, Yeovil
Nearby villages: Chinnock, Chiselborough, East Chinnock, East Coker, Haselbury Plucknett, Hinton St. George, Ilchester, Kingsbury Episcopi, Long Load, Lopen, Martock, Middle Chinnock, Muchelney, Mudford, South Petherton, Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Sutton Bingham, Tintinhull, West Chinnock, West Coker, Yeovilton
Have you decided to visit Montacute or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Montacute bed and breakfast (a Montacute B&B or Montacute b and b)
- a Montacute guesthouse
- a Montacute hotel (or motel)
- a Montacute self-catering establishment, or
- other Montacute accommodation