Montacute House is a magnificent, glittering mansion, built in the late 16th century for Sir Edward Phelips. Renaissance highlights include elegant chimneys, carved parapets, contemporary plasterwork and heraldic glass. On walking through the grand Long Gallery, the longest of its kind in Europe, visitors can admire more than 50 of the finest Tudor and Elizabethan portraits from the National Portrait Gallery collection. The splendid staterooms display a fine range of 17th- and 18th-century furniture and textiles, including beautiful samplers from the Goodhart collection. The fine formal gardens are perfect for an afternoon stroll and include an interesting collection of roses, topiary and mixed borders. Waymarked walks lead around the wider estate, which encompasses St Michael’s Hill, the site of a Norman castle, which is topped by an 18th-century lookout tower.
Winner of Sandford Award 2004.