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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Restored with Sugar

We chose the first sunny day in quite a while for a day out on Sunday. Just ideal for a picnic in what proved to be a glorious position.

The venue that we had chosen for our excursion with friends was Barrington Court in Somerset. Our visit was well overdue as we had hoped to go last year to see the exhibition of costumes from the highly acclaimed BBC drama Wolf Hall. The restored Tudor house had been one of the locations used in the filming.

The main house seen above is known as Court House.  The barley twist chimneys are an interesting feature which we also able to see close up from the top storey windows.

The National Trust acquired the property at the beginning of the last century when it was in a state of great disrepair. It was not until after World War 1 that it was repaired and restored by the Lyle family of Tate and Lyle sugar. A lot of the materials used in the restoration were saved from other grand houses that were in a similar state. The provenance of a lot of this is unknown due to the loss of records during World War 2. These curious carvings are on the front door.

There is no furniture in the house but that somehow gives one the chance to visualise how it may have looked. It also gives one th chance to appreciate a lot of the woodwork and stone work. This view looks up the main staircase. We had sat for sometime on a sofa (one of the few pieces of furniture) looking up at this and thought that the banisters had the appearance of rather sad faces.

The next room which latterly had been a library had a very inviting window seat which of course we also had to try out. I would get very little work done if I had one such as this in my house. Perhaps this will be my entry for No.12 A Window for the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. I have some more possibilities up my sleeve!

The Lyle family remained as tenants until the 1990s and bought more land to add to the estate. They also converted the large stable block to an extension to the main house. This is known as Strode House.

The gardens are also of great significance but I shall save those to another day.


  1. The Tudor period is one of my favourites. What a beautiful outing - amazing noble home. I like that it has been restored - oh the tales those walls could tell. Strode House looks fantastic in its new role. I watched Series 1 of Wolf Hall, I must admit I was disappointed, but willing to give Series 2 a go. Looking forward to the gardens.

  2. looks a fascinating house and I agree nice to see rooms without the furniture - I too would spend a lot of time on a window seat like that

  3. You have such amazing landmark sites to visit. I always appreciate seeing them; what a gorgeous place.

  4. Great photos, can almost imagine an Elizabethan ghost sitting at the window seat or gliding past in long robes. Lovely house - look forward to seeing the gardens too, they look promising..!