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Mompesson House - National Trust

UK & Ireland
  • Duration: 1 days
  • Board Basis: N/A
  • Tour Ref: D2TBAK12157

Holiday Summary

  • Travel Type: Coach

Mompesson House, Salisbury

This property is owned by the National Trust.

National Trust Members enjoy free entry on arrival and non-members pay for their entry upon arrival.

Visiting Salisbury's Cathedral Close, you step back into a past world. Mompesson House, which featured in the film Sense and Sensibility, has a warm and inviting atmosphere and many different families have called the house 'home'. The sense of tranquillity is enhanced by the magnificent plasterwork, graceful oak staircase and fine period furniture, which are the main features of this quintessential Queen Anne townhouse. Mompesson has one of the finest displays of English 18th century drinking glasses and a collection of watercolours by former resident Barbara Townsend. The garden, with its traditional herbaceous borders and pergola, is an oasis of calm.

Although there has long been a house on the site, the current Mompesson House is around 300 years old and was named after Charles Mompesson, for whom it was built in 1701. The hopper heads at the top of the downpipes bear the initials CM and the date of construction. The Mompessons were an old Wiltshire family, recorded in the county from the early 15th century, and several of them had been sheriffs. Charles's father, Sir Thomas, an ardent royalist, was an MP.

In the house, you'll be able to explore the entrance hall, dining room, large drawing room, small drawing room and library and go up the beautiful oak staircase to two bedrooms and a reception room. You might recognise some of the rooms from their appearance in the award-winning adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.

Wander through the atmospheric rooms to discover magnificent plasterwork, fine period furniture and a graceful oak staircase. Don't miss the Bessemer Wright collection of 18th-century porcelain and the Turnbull collection of 18th-century drinking glasses which are of national importance.

Head outside and stroll through the garden to discover a delightful walled garden hidden behind this 18th-century town house, featuring a pergola and traditionally planted herbaceous borders. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre and unwind in this peaceful spot.

A wide green space, The Close, surrounds the Cathedral. Essentially a walled city within the city, is ringed by wonderful period houses. The most memorable houses in the Close are Mompesson House, a National Trust property finished in high Georgian style, and Malmesbury House, originally built in 1327, but later remodelled in Georgian fashion also. Then there is Arundells, built in the 14th century but more lately the home of Sir Edward Heath.

Beyond the Close, there are numerous beautiful half-timbered buildings, floors tilting like a ship in heavy seas. The church of St. Thomas a Becket, a former "chapel of ease" for the cathedral, has a magnificent carved and panelled roof, and an organ donated by George III. The Market Place has seen regular markets since 1227, and it used to be sprinkled with crosses which were centres for selling particular kinds of produce. Nowadays only the Poultry Cross remains. The Market Square was the scene of the execution of the Duke of Buckingham in 1483. The Duke, in hiding from Richard III, was betrayed when a labourer noticed extra food being delivered to his hiding place. St. Ann Street is home to beautiful, ivy-covered Georgian and Victorian houses, and the 14th century St. Ann's Gate offers the most scenic approach to the Cathedral Close. George Frederick Handel gave his first performance in England in a room above the Gate.

Salisbury with its many tourists that throng the streets in summer, retains a relaxed atmosphere. And the spire still rises over the water meadows that have changed surprisingly little since Constable painted the scene centuries ago.

Visit the shops and the Cathedral that has been accepting visitors for over 800 years. Superbly situated in southern England's rural heartland, few destinations can match the amazing diversity. Salisbury has plenty of characterful places to see - some dating back to the 13th century - and a wide range of pubs, restaurants and tea rooms. A choice of arts and culture venues complement individual shops and regular street markets, and outside the city you will find charming country towns and villages.

Depart for home Approx. 17.30

PRICE FROM ? £31 per person
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