Mottisfont Abbey’s original building was a priory founded by William Briwere in 1201. He was an advisor to Richard the Lionhearted, King John, and Henry III. He also signed the Magna Carta.
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When the monasteries were dissolved by Henry VIII, the priory was taken over by William Lord Sandys who changed it into a home. Later Sir Richard Mill demolished most of the priory and the farm buildings and ponds.
In 1934 the estate was sold by the family to Gilbert Russell. His wife Maude gave the estate to the National Trust in 1957.
On the tour visitors see the Whistler room, decorated in trompe l’oeil by Rex Whistler. The Derek Hill collection of late 19th and early 20th century pictures are on view.
The grounds contain a national collection of old fashioned shrub roses established in the kitchen garden in 1972. There are more than 350 varieties. The river Test skirts the property. Also in the grounds are trees, walks along a mill stream, and a great plane tree, reputed to be the largest in England. A pollarded lime walk and an old ice house are additional attractions.
Don’t miss St Andrew's, the 12th century Grade I listed church, in the village. The glass in one window dates from the 16th century. The chancel arch and font are Norman.
Hampshire SO51 0LP
Tel. 01794 340757
Open: House: March-end Oct, daily, 11am-5pm; Garden, shop, café, art gallery, year round, daily 10am-5pm.
Restaurant, shop, plant sales