There are so many famous stately homes in the United Kingdom that are full of rich history and ancient family legacies. One of these old homes is Montacute House in Somerset. Owned by the National Trust, it is open to viewing by the public and features some famous antique master oil paintings from Victorian era England. In this article we take a look at some of the features of this historic home and easy ways you can bring some stately character to your Wellington home.
History of the house
Montacute House has centuries of history. Construction is thought to have been started in 1598 and it was completed in 1601. Sir Edward Phelips commissioned the house to be built on the land in Montacute that his family had lived on since 1460. Over the years the house was passed down through the family, receiving renovations from some while being neglected by others.
After William Phelips Sr. gambled away much of the estate land in the 1800s, his son, William Phelips Jr, was forced to begin letting the home to others and eventually the home was sold in 1929. It was bought in 1931 by a man who then offered it to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Eventually it was given over to the National Trust, who have owned it ever since.
This house has been featured in many Victorian era TV shows and movies, including the 2014 Wolf Hall film. It hosts a large display of old oil paintings in the enormous long gallery. The house has received many necessary renovations and restorations over the years, but has been able to mostly maintain its authentic English Renaissance architectural style.
Montacute House has three floors and an enormous number of rooms. The real pride of the house came from the great chamber on the first floor. This was originally made as a place to entertain prestigious guests or to host large gatherings. Later on down the line one of the family owners converted it into a large library.
One highly unique thing about this house is that it boasts of having the largest long gallery room of all the surviving old English houses. The gallery is on the second floor of the house and is illuminated by amazing natural light from the oriental windows on either side of the long hall and an entire eastern wall made up of windows. It has been used for everything from entertaining to even pony riding!
All the stone used to build this beautiful home came from the local Ham Mill. This includes stone used for a renovation that was taken from another local house which was being torn down at the time. Montacute House was built in the popular “E” shape and features glass windows on every side of the house. The entrance is adorned with intricately carved wood and stone walls.
The estate has 260 acres of park lands surrounding it with around 10 acres of formal, designed gardens.
Building your own stately home
If you want your New Zealand home to look at bit more stately, your first step may be to focus on revamping your flooring. A great choice for solid timber floor finishes in Wellington is to look at Four Star Flooring, your first choice for fantastic Lower North Island and Wellington wood floor services. Timber floors are a wonderful investment because they add more resale value, last for many years without much maintenance, and look stunning in almost every home. When you’re ready to make an investment of your own, check out www.4StarFlooring.co.nz, a local company that has been flooring in Wellington since 2002.