Barrington Court is just a hop over the border into Somerset.

It’s a splendid Tudor manor house, now a National Trust property. And it’s empty – of furniture anyway.

In its stripped back state it’s easier to appreciate the bones of the place, although all is not as it seems.

By the early 20th century the building was more or less derelict. It was Colonel Abram Arthur Lyle (that’s Lyle of Tate & Lyle Sugar) and his architect James Edwin Forbes who put the building back together. They refitted the interiors with the Colonel’s substantial collection of salvaged antique woodwork. He had an eye for salvage and deep pockets.

And it’s an oak panelled joy. Linen-fold and much more in the great hall and long gallery. Not for nothing was it used as a location for Wolf Hall.

The trick is to arrive early, (it opens at 10.30am so it’s not that early) then peg it straight through the gardens to the house, up the stairs and you’ll have it all to yourself.

Talking of stairs – you’re sent up and down two small, narrow staircases – each has remarkable bannisters…

… more Arts & Crafts than Tudor – but gorgeous.

Empty rooms – nothing in the way of furnishing. But some pleasing bathroom details.

But without any distractions you can appreciate the detail. ….

…just take a scroll through the gallery.


The formal gardens are pretty good too (there were Jekyll plans originally) – but that’s a post for another time.

Instead here’s a poke about the further reaches of the estate (where dogs are allowed). Here it’s quieter and charm around every corner.