Weekend Adventures- The Elizabethan Gem, Montacute House

I’m just going to put this out there- I love National Trust properties.  Yes, I am well aware this is probably going to ruin my street cred (ha as if I have street cred)  but I really do love nothing more on a weekend than going and exploring a stately home, manicured garden and some pretty quintessentially English landscapes. In Australia, we don’t have many of these historic buildings. We have a completely different history.  So maybe this is where my fascination with these properties comes from I’m just not used to them.  We read about mansions and castles in books but never got to actually see any or walk around them.

I love the history, the stories, the artwork, the secret gardens if all just makes you feel like stepping back in time (or often for me like I am a royal queen) and seeing how different life was in the past. I think the national trust has done a tremendous job restoring and maintaining these properties. To think they are still standing and still intact after 100s of years is amazing.

We’ve been to see quite a few places over the years and some of which has been blogged about previously (and many still to be blogged about) but over the Easter weekend this year we ventured to the Elizabethan Gem Montacute House.

Located just outside of Yeovil in Somerset this commanding house was built by Sir Edward Phelips in 1598. He was obviously a wealthy and powerful in those days and he was most commonly known for his role in the prosecution in the trial against Guy Fawkes. He was also on very good terms with King James who donated a portrait of himself which is still on display in the house to this very day.


The building is made from the local Ham Stone which gives the building a lovely honey tint. Walking up to the gate you get a lovely view of the house and can see why it’s been used in so many films and Tv programs. The gardens are well manicured and full of colour, especially with the brightly coloured tulips. My personal favourite was the wibbly wobbly hedge that looks like a big green cloud. My other half loved the orangery so much he is now planning to try and build one for us.

After strolling around the gardens we then headed into the house and found signs of the past in all rooms. We even saw a historic version of an ensuite. The most impressive inside the house was the Long Gallery. This is apparently the longest of its kind in the country and houses over 60 portraits. They are spectacular and yes you can feel all theirs eyes watching you. The portraits are on loan from the National Portrait Gallery and well worth seeing. Seeing all the faces, the fashion and different techniques just add more insight into the past. I liked seeing the lesser known portraits just as much as seeing ones of Queen Elizabeth the First and Henry VIII.

When we finished exploring through the house and gardens we then also went to out to explore the village that shares its name with the house. The ham stone is present throughout the village and it couldn’t have been more British if it tried. Two sweet pubs and a very creepy looking museum. It was a lovely little village.


To visit the property is £12.60 per adult from March to October. Outside of these times, you can only visit the garden and there is a discounted rate for those months.  We actually opted to sign up for a year membership to the NT on our visit. I’ve never felt so middle aged in my whole life. But you know what I don’t care I’m just going to keep looking through my book to see where we can have our next weekend adventure.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/montacute-house

A few more photos to show you this beautiful place

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39 thoughts on “Weekend Adventures- The Elizabethan Gem, Montacute House

  1. I’ve been here!! I also love National Trust properties. Did you see the ‘Possibly Lucy’ and ‘Probably Mary’ portraits? That made me laugh. I’m just gutted I didn’t see those beautiful tulips when I went… I’ll just have to go again! Thanks for reminding me how cool this place is!

  2. I love our beautiful heritage and unearthing history in our old buildings! I’ve never been there so this post is a great find for me! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ah this place is gorgeous! I live in the U.S., so I don’t come across ancient castles or medevial palaces as often as I would like. That’s why I love visiting Europe! The history over there is so rich. I remember on a tour, the guide saying, ‘This is pretty young. Only about 200 years old.’ That is considered ancient in the U.S.! I’ll have to make time to visit this Montacute House!

  4. Yes, as always Mel your photos capture the area so well. I do agree that people from downunder appreciate the history here in the Northern Hemisphere as we don’t have it at home. Must admit we haven’t been too many stately houses, I might be too tight to pay the entrance fee on some of them 🙂 Okay, I know! We will put it on our list of things to do! x

  5. Gorgeous property! Something I always find interesting with Elizabethan houses is the windows- I’m so impressed at the number of windows given the cost of the window tax. (Whether or not a window tax seems valid is another question…) For my own historical research, I often end up in ruins (early medieval Ireland) but it’s my goal to visit more National Trust properties when I visit the UK. Absolutely fantastic post!!

    1. I love ruins!! It makes you have to use so much imagination as to what it was actually like when in its heyday. I live just near Glastonbury abbey and I find it just a magical place walking amongst the ruins. Thanks so much for stopping by! Can’t wait to check out your posts I think we’ve got a similar love for the past x

  6. Fabulous history we have here and you’ve done an excellent job of showcasing part of that heritage. Really enjoyed the photos; its been an age since I visited a place like this!

  7. This looks gorgeous.

    There are sooo many nice national trust places to visit. I am a fan too, but I didn’t actually join up! I always seem to visit with my in-laws (so we can use their car with its car park sticker!!)

    I normally love the gardens…and the cakes.

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