journal, national trust, weekend walk

Once a month Mark and I take his cousin out for the day. As we are all National Trust members it’s a great way of getting our money’s worth out of our membership.

My part of Somerset seems to have more than it’s fair share of old houses. In one hours’ travelling time we have at least four large houses and a castle.

So it was a cold, windy day but the sky was occasionally blue but in the most part a uniform grey.

First Stop –  Lytes Cary a manor house it has parts dating back to the 14th century and the chapel predates that ! The unusual name derives from the Lyte family who lived in the house for four centuries and the River Cary which flows nearby.

I found the house very oppressive it has the typical low ceilings of the period. The gardens are set out in a series of ‘rooms’. I found some beautiful Snake’s Head Fritillary in the orchard but other than that it was pretty empty of Spring flowers.

It was time for an early lunch so off to Montacute House for cheese scones, pickle and a cup of tea.
We often visit Montacute House it is one of my favourite places to visit. It houses a wonderful collection of Tudor portraits from the National Gallery. They are kept in rooms darkened by heavy blinds just off the beautiful Long Gallery, where the occupants of the day took exercise on cold days. But today it was just a stroll around the gardens to walk off lunch.

Finally the last stop of the day, Barrington Court, another Tudor manor house. Begun around 1538 and finished in the late 1550’s. This poor house has been sold and passed onto many families and has suffered as a result . Fire almost destroyed it in the 19th Century and it was finally acquired by the National Trust in 1907. It was leased to Colonel Lyle of the sugar company Tate and Lyle and he restored the house out of his own pocket. As you can imagine it was a costly business . The house has no furniture inside but it does show off the oak panelling that fills the walls.  In Summer the gardens are full of flowers and the kitchen garden supplies the tea room and restaurant with home grown produce.

Certainly without furniture it feels very atmospheric almost if the house is waiting for something to happen caught in time.

Hope you enjoyed my guided tour….

Linking up with my good friend Helen for her weekend walk, why not join up too ?


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  1. Oooh – lovely photos and description – I feel as if I'm there with you. Sometimes furniture distracts from the detail – I think that's why I like Little Moreton Hall so much. And you can always rely on a NT tea room for delicious food and a decent cuppa. I've never seen snake flowers before – interesting. Thanks for linking up!


  2. Thanks for the tour! I especially like the photos of Barrington Court……lucky you to live nearby. May have to put that one on my list.We live fairly close to Calke Abbey, Hardwick Hall, Chatsworth and Kedleston. Nice to visit further afield though…..


  3. Finally…I tried three times last night to leave a comment and it just didn't work…so here I am today to tell you that I loved your virtual tour of the castle…your photo's have such perspective and depth…and your description of each section made me feel like I was right there…A beautiful post today Viv…


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