Marvel at the beauty of the twin banqueting pavilions in the East Court. This area was originally stone-paved but is now grassed over. The banqueting houses originally had internal staircases so the Phelips family could retire here to enjoy sweetmeats, crystallised fruit and wine.
Explore the North Garden which is bound by raised walks and hedges of yew. The footprint of the 19th century parterre has been mown into the grass with the plan that this will one day be restored. A gap at the north-west corner leads to steps down to the ice house.
The Cedar Lawn was originally called Pit’s Wheatie Orchard and was made into a bowling green in the 19th century.
Don’t miss the cloud hedging!
If you visit the house, look out for the somewhat surprising plaster frieze at the far end of the Hall. Pevsner describes how it ‘shows the story of a hen-pecked husband, just trying to get at some beer secretly, then beaten with a shoe by his wife, and then paraded around the village on a pole’.
Montacute House was used in the BBC drama, Wolf Hall.
National Trust members visit for free.