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Barrington Court

Location

Somerset Map

OS Ref: ST 395 182

Last Visited: 2015

The South Front

The South Front

Wandering round Barrington Court I started to feel like I was visiting the result of someone buying a flat-packed stately home, and then losing the instructions.

The Fireplace in the Solomon Room

The Fireplace
in the Solomon Room

The bits fitted together really well in some places; in others, bits were missing, and scattered around the place were the left over bits they didn't know what to do with.

Inside the main Elizabethan building, now known as Court House, this is more or less the case.

When the National Trust acquired the building in 1907, their first major country house, the windows of the Great Hall was bricked up and chickens were roosting inside.

They restored it, but struggled to meet the ongoing costs of maintaining it, so in the 1920s they leased it to Colonel Arthur Lyle of the sugar refining family.

The Great Hall

The Great Hall

He was an obsessive collector of historic woodwork, and was looking for somewhere to house his collection. He spent many hours installing the old panelling, but the fact that it was not original to the house becomes particularly apparent in the Great Hall where it does not reach the ceiling.

For opening times, admission prices, etc. please see the National Trust's official site detailed below.

Bustalls

Bustalls

Strangely, the theme continues outside in the gardens. It starts with the main drive that brings visitors to the back door of the the house in the North Front, rather than the glorious Elizabethan porch on the south side.

Again, although some of the garden rooms on the west side of the house (which were originally planted with the advice of Gertrude Jekyll) work well, nothing seems to quite line up.

You go through a gate expecting some vista or avenue to open up, and find yourself in the corner of an orchard, or by some old stables.

Strode House from the Lily Garden

Strode House from the Lily Garden

The Water Court

The Water Court

Next door to Court House is Strode House, which started life as a massive stable block built by the then owner William Strode II (or III) in 1674. This was adapted and given a new west front by Colonel Lyle and his architect J E Forbes, to form part of the family home.

It now houses the National Trust's Strode House Restaurant whose menu includes fruit and vegetables from the stone-walled kitchen garden.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Barrington Court
      National Trust Handbook entry detailing opening times, ticket prices, facilities, etc.
      https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/barrington-court
    • Barrington Court
      Wikipedia article
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrington_Court
  • Leaflets

    • Barrington Court
      The National Trust Guide Book

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St Mary the Virgin's Church, Barrington

Location

Somerset Map

OS Ref: ST 388 181

Last Visited: 2015

Saint Mary's Church

Saint Mary's Church

Talking of places that don't quite fit together, the church of St Mary the Virgin, Barrington seems to have set the trend. This is partly due to the unusual octagonal tower, which has resulted in a crossing with very small arches.

From the nave it looks like the chancel is down a narrow corridor. It's not helped by the fact the the latter is slightly offset giving the church an unsettlingly bent feel; a bit like like Canterbury Cathedral.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Church of St Mary the Virgin, Barrington
      Wikipedia article
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_St_Mary_the_Virgin,_Barrington
    • Winsmoor Benefice
      The website of the parishes of the Winsmoor Benefice: Barrington, Chillington, Cudworth, Dowlish Wake, Kingstone, Puckington, Shepton Beauchamp and Stocklinch.
      http://winsmoor.blogspot.co.uk/

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