Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of MONTACUTE HOUSE
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Somerset (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 49936 17153


ST4916 MONTACUTE CP THE BOROUGH (North side, off) 7/123 Montacute House 19.4.61 GV I Country house. Circa 1590-1601, remodelled 1785-87. Probably by William Arnold for Sir Edward Phelips. Ham stone ashlar; Welsh slate roofs behind open balustered parapets with obelisk finials, coped gables, some Dutch style; ashlar chimney stacks, including plain stacks set diagonally and Doric columns. H-plan; three storeys, attic and basement. East elevation original entrance facade; 13 bays, of which outer and centre bays project; plinth, string courses, open parapets; hollow-chamfer mullioned and transomed windows set in wave mould recesses; outer bays have angled 1+5+1-light bay windows of two storeys, crowned with segmental pediments; above 5-light windows, and then 3-light attic windows with labels in Dutch gables; in returns 6 and 4-light windows; the windows in crosswing of 3, 3, 5, 3 and 3-lights either side of central bay, two lower floors double-transomed; the lower 5-light windows project slightly under pediments at first floor level; centre bay has 4-light windows, and 3-light on returns to first and second floors; former entrance has a semi-circular arched doorway with lozenge decorated imposts and keystone, with small plaque over; parapet over this and over the 5 window bays semi-circular arched with statue in niche to centre bay; statues in shell-head niches between all second floor windows, circular niches under principal first floor windows, and pairs shell-head niches with seats at ground floor level. West elevation, now principal entrance, added 1785-87, possible designed by Edward Phelips and a local builder, and incorporating major fragments of Clifton Maybank House, Yeovil, of c1546-64 also 13 bays, of which bays 1/3 and 11/13 are surviving C16 work, with 4-light mullioned and transomed windows, plus 3-light to attics in Dutch gables; bays 2, 3 and 11, 12 extended to accomodate stairs, with matching windows at staggered levels; the remainder recessed; the second floor set back again, bays 5 and 9 have 4-light windows to 2 lower levels; second floor windows, of 3 lights, are to bays 4, 6, 8 and 10, gables with chimneys to bays 5 and 9: porch to bay 7, 3 storeys, has moulded 4-centre arch to open porch, and matching inner doorway; above an elaborately carved heraldic panel, originally for Clifton Maybank, but with Phelips arms substituted, then two 3-light windows and a stepped gable; centre section with reclaimed fluted pilaster shafts with heraldic beasts on the parapets. North and south elevations almost identical, 4 bays to match, with composite oriel windows of 2+6+2 wide lights, the outer pairs double transomed and flat, the centre semi-circular on plan and quadruple-transomed, with Dutch gable over these. Inside, a vaulted cross-entrance lobby, a screens passage, with stone screen to north, and panelled hall with plaster frieze, fireplace and decorative plasterwork panel, all early C17; to south the dining room, reshaped in C19, and also has wallpaper and a fireplace from Coleshill House, Berkshire; south west parlour has C16 chimney piece, freize and panelling. Stairs, bays 2/3 and 11/12 west elevation, original, 2.15 m wide round central stone core. On first floor the north-east room, the library or great chamber the most important room, with a 'porch' chimney piece, plaster frieze and stained glass being original work; on second floor the long gallery, although now modified. The Phelips family was in the area before 1466; Edward Phelips, original builder, was a rich lawyer; the family occupied the house until the end of C19; 1915 leased to Lord Curzon; 1931 the property purchased by the SPAB and presented to the National Trust. Scheduled Ancient Monument (Somerset County No 187). (Girouard M and others, Montacute House, National Trust, 1985, with short bibliography; Country Life, 16 April 1898, 4 June 1904, 12 and 19 June 1915, 20 April l929, 20 and 27 october and 3 November 1955 etc).

Listing NGR: ST4993617153


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Girouard, M et al, Montacute House, (1985)
'Country Life' in 16 April, (1898)
'Country Life' in 27 October, (1955)
'Country Life' in 20 October, (1955)
'Country Life' in 19 June, (1915)
'Country Life' in 3 November, (1955)
'Country Life' in 4 June, (1904)
'Country Life' in 20 April, (1929)
'Country Life' in 12 June, (1915)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 37 Somerset,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 06 Jun 2006
Reference: IOE01/15527/27
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John H. Sparkes. Source Historic England Archive
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