Montacute is one of the loveliest of English houses. The honey-coloured, Ham Hill stone of its two faultless façades glows in the morning and afternoon sun. It is satisfyingly large but not overwhelmingly grand; its rooms seem dignified but comfortable at the same time. Like every old house, Montacute has been altered over the years, but these changes seem only to make it more human.
When Montacute came to the National Trust in 1931, it was empty and unloved. But over the past century, thanks to a series of generous gifts and a pioneering partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, the house has come back to life, so that today it is many people’s favourite.
Providing the perfect setting for the house is the garden, which is a rare surviving example of Elizabethan design.
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