Montacute House


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Montacute House, The Borough, TA15 6XP


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Statutory Address:
Montacute House, The Borough, TA15 6XP

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

South Somerset (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 21/10/2019

ST4916 7/123

MONTACUTE CP THE BOROUGH (North side, off) Montacute House


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; thirteen 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 five-light windows, and then three-light attic windows with labels in Dutch gables; in returns six- and four-light windows; the windows in crosswing of three-, three-, five-, three- and three-lights either side of central bay, two lower floors double-transomed; the lower five-light windows project slightly under pediments at first floor level; centre bay has four-light windows, and three-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 five 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, possibly designed by Edward Phelips and a local builder, and incorporating major fragments of Clifton Maybank House, Yeovil, of c1546-64 also thirteen bays, of which bays 1/3 and 11/13 are surviving C16 work, with four-light mullioned and transomed windows, plus three-light to attics in Dutch gables; bays two, three and eleven and twelve extended to accommodate stairs, with matching windows at staggered levels; the remainder recessed; the second floor set back again, bays five and nine have four-light windows to two lower levels; second floor windows, of three lights, are to bays four, six, eight and ten, gables with chimneys to bays five and nine: porch to bay seven, three storeys, has moulded four-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 three-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, four 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.

(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 1929, 20 and 27 October and 3 November 1955 etc).

Listing NGR: ST4994117167


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

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