Other Local Places of Interest
We are fortunate in living in an area rich in Elizabethan Manor Houses and gardens. If you would prefer to visit one of these please let us know so that we can make the necessary arrangements.
The 12th century Forde Abbey has an interesting history, particularly in the 17th century when it became a private residence after a chequered period following the dissolution of the Monasteries in the Reign of King Henry VIII. The Victorian gardens are a fine example of English parkland. Henry Rosewell, born at Forde Abbey in 1590, was a Puritan and supporter of the
movement that established first the Dorchester Company and then the Massachusetts Bay Company. It is the most complete Cistercian monastic building to survive as a home in Britain.
Built later than Forde Abbey Montacute House is an outstanding Elizabethan house built of the local honey coloured Ham stone and completed in 1601. Built for Sir Edward Phelips, Master of the Rolls and the prosecutor during the trial of the Gunpowder Plotters it remained in the Phelips family until 1911. It is now owned and run by England’s National Trust organisation, a body that safeguards much of the United Kingdom’s cultural inheritance.
The Herbert family have owned Wilton House, near Salisbury, for over 400 years since 1544 after King Henry VIII presented William, 1st Earl of Pembroke, with the estate and deserted site of Wilton Abbey. A favourite of the King, William transformed the derelict ruin into a fine Tudor house that can still be recognised amongst the early 17th century additions and alterations in Palladian style made under the instructions of Philip Herbert, the 4th Earl of Pembroke. Philip favoured ‘Godly Protestantism’ and was sympathetic to Puritanism. The magnificent State Rooms at Wilton were designed by the 17th century architect Inigo Jones (1573 – 1652), an ‘Elizabethan Puritan’ at the heart of the Cavalier Court. In the 1630s Queen Henrietta Maria employed Jones as the architect of the Queen’s House at Greenwich, near London.