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Glittering Elizabethan house adorned with elegant chimneys, carved parapets and other Renaissance features, including contemporary plasterwork, chimneypieces and heraldic glass. The magnificent state rooms, including a long gallery which is the largest of its type in England, are full of fine 17th and 18th century furniture and Elizabethan and Jacobean portraits from the National Portrait Gallery. There are also good quality textiles, including an exhibition of 17th century samplers. The formal garden includes mixed borders and old roses and is surrounded by a landscape park. Montacute featured in the award-winning film Sense and Sensibility. Various events during the year including Easter Egg Trail and Water Colour Exhibitions.

Built at the end of the 16th century for Sir Edward Phelips, a successful lawyer and politician, this fine house was a symbol, not only of his wealth, but also of his high social standing. It was Sir Edward that gave the opening speech for the prosecution at the trial of Guy Fawkes. When first completed, it must have presented an awesome spectacle, displaying almost a complete wall of windows interlaced with elaborate carved detail, niches and sculptures, and then gracefully roofed with curved gables and slender columned chimneys. Originally, there was a grand gatehouse entrance, set between the remaining pair of domed pavilions, and these buildings would have provided additional accommodation for guests.

Inside Montacute, Sir Edward’s status is again clearly denoted by the extent of the most important room of the time, the long gallery. A spectacular and most impressive area, stretching the entire 172ft (52.1m) from one end of the house to the other, and with a cluster of smaller rooms leading off the gallery at either end. Today this room retains its importance in the 100 historic portraits it now exhibits, as a result of a joint venture between the National Trust and the National Portrait Gallery to draw in additional visitors, thereby increasing revenue.

Opening arrangements  - House 17th March until 28th October 11am – 5pm  Closed Tuesdays  
1st March until 16th March 11am – 4pm  
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays  
17th March – 28th October 11am – 6pm  
Closed Tuesdays  
29th October – 29th February 08 11am – 4pm  Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Park and estate open all year. Last admission 30mins before closing

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