I am a proud member of the National Trust, this wonderful conservation organisation that protects and opens historic buildings all across the country. I am very happy to contribute every month to keep these sites open, and, considering my hobby of travelling around England visiting heritage places, it is a good deal for me too, as I am able to enter at no additional cost. It is possible to apply for membership right in their premises. I still remember when I decided to become one: It was at Monk’s House, Virginia Woolf’s country home in Sussex. Being a feminist and a fan of her writing, it was a great pleasure to visit her “country retreat” and looking back, I am sure such a special setting influenced my decision to become a member.
To maximise my investment, it is very often that I check NT’s app to look for any interesting historic sites in the area. As long as I can travel via public transport, it’s a go.
Last autumn, I was doing just that when I came across Montacute House. It was a bit of a hike, for the bus only brought me near Yeovil, and then I had to walk the rest. I have learnt some time ago that distances here are not that big in England, and being the active walker that I am, it is achievable.
Montacute House is a mansion built in “English Renaissance” style, which is not really inspired in continental Renaissance, but a natural evolution of English Gothic style. It was constructed in the 16th century by Sir Edward Phelips, who had important links with King James I (of England and Ireland) and was wealthy. The Phelips family stayed in the house until early 20th century. By then the mansion had become too expensive to keep and in 1931 it was passed to the National Trust. I remember visiting the rooms, but for some reason, I don’t have any images. It’s possible taking photos was not allowed, I don’t recall.
Featured image: Pure English bucolic; one of the gates in Montacute village.
Below, the gardens, bathed by the autumn light. There is a time in England when autumn foliage overlaps with some late-summer blooms and is quite lovely.
Below, just one of the sides of the three-floor house and part of the garden.
Below, still in the garden, established in the 17th century.
There is a village adjacent to Montacute House (named Montacute as well) and it is quite lovely.
Below, more of this pretty Somerset village.
A view of one of the buildings in Montacute, the village.