A climatic piece of old Somerset: an empty Tudor manor home, magnificently brought back in the 1920s, with farm buildings, abundant flowers and orchards.
There’s a sense of flexibility when you visit Barrington Court. The absence of a collection allows you the space and point of view to discover the soul of this house, and feel the love and passion that entered into its restoration.
Among the Court’s most spectacular functions is the long gallery. It runs the length of the attic floor, and in Tudor times would have provided a space for indoor workout. When Canon Rawnsley went to the house in 1907, he described the long gallery as being ‘loaded with holes, offering a great home for owls’.
Colonel Lyle restored the walls utilizing his incredible collection of panelling, and numerous pieces consist of fantastic examples of marquetry. A few of the most intriguing appear to be half-hidden inlaid signs and indications. Look out for the skull and crossbones and the axeman’s block, but there are many more to find.
The famous garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll, was consulted by Colonel Lyle’s better half, Elsie, on the design and finest planting schemes for the garden. At the time, Jekyll was well into her seventies and nearly blind, but she had the ability to advise what would grow best in the limy earth simply by crumbling the soil, which was sent to her in biscuit tins. Elsie Lyle visited Jekyll to discuss the plans for the garden in person, and much of exactly what you see today was motivated by these earlier strategies.
Traditionally the kitchen area garden was the larder of any country home. Our cooking area garden is a working gem, and it still fulfils its original function of offering fresh fruit and veg for our dining establishment. There are huge pumpkins, curious decorative gourds, kale and cabbages, and with a little luck, some late raspberries.
The herbaceous borders that run down the orchard side of the kitchen garden are a riot of fall colour with the asters and michaelmas daisies looking especially cheerful.
A home with a moat
Pausing for a minute and glancing into the moat can be very rewarding as you’re most likely to spot plenty wildlife, from ducks to dragonflies. The moat needs regular raking to keep the water clear.
Rose and iris garden
A bridge leads you over the moat and through a carved and weathered oak door to the stunning walled garden The spaces here are arranged as a series of linked specific garden ‘rooms’, each with its own theme or focus. The garden team is dividing up last of the irises at the minute – a job that is done every 4 years after they have actually completed blooming.
Renovation of the rose beds occurred during 2017 and they are now securely developed, with the fantastic floral displays of Rosa ‘Felicia’, ‘Cornelia’ and’ Penelope’ (to call but a few) at their height previously in the summertime. Autumn is when you’ll see the team deep in the beds pruning whatever.
The largest of the gardens and the very first to be planted, the Lily Garden remains closest of all to Gertude’s designs for Barrington Court, with planting that is abundant and altering. Another job to keep the team busy over the coming weeks is lifting the dahlias so they can be kept over winter.
The pergola walk
The brick and wood pergola was created by our existing head garden enthusiast, Christine Brain, along with Andrew Lyle in the 1980s. This beautiful function covers the course from the busstalls to the White Garden, and there are many wonderful, well-established climbing plants growing over it.
Make certain to visit this incredible court in the heart of Somerset.
Restored, unfurnished Tudor mansion set in colourful gardens, with a walled orchard and restaurant.