Explore the rooms at Barrington Court
Barrington Court is a beautifully restored Tudor mansion, full of mystery and atmosphere, and set in the glorious Somerset countryside. There’s a sense of freedom when you visit. The absence of a collection allows you the space and perspective to discover the soul of this house, and feel the love and passion that went into its restoration.
A saving passion
Colonel Lyle had a passion for collecting historic woodwork, salvaged from houses that were neglected or abandoned. The items he saved included linenfold panelling, fireplaces and surrounds, and a staircase saved from a Scottish castle and installed in the east hall. Together with his architect, E.F. Forbes, Colonel Lyle put his collection to good use during the Court's restoration between 1920 and 1925.
Beneath golden stars
Picture a room full of laughter, music and dancing, with golden stars shimmering in a midnight blue ceiling. People gathering to celebrate a family occasion or a weekend party with friends, or maybe even a fancy dress ball.
The Great Hall resonates with an atmosphere of parties past. You can picture people gazing down on the room from the minstrels' gallery, gossiping and sharing secrets.
The most modern conveniences
During your visit you'll see several period bathrooms, including a glimpse of the Tudor garderobe as you ascend the east staircase. When you reach the master bedroom, you'll discover a more sophisticated en suite bathroom with Edwardian flushing closet. All of the 'modern' bathrooms contain the most beautiful hand-painted tiles, selected by 'Ronnie' Lyle.
Hidden sign and symbols
One of the Court's most stunning features is the Long Gallery. It runs the length of the attic floor, and in Tudor times would have provided a space for indoor exercise. When Canon Rawnsley visited the house in 1907, he described the long gallery as being 'full of holes, providing a great home for owls'.
Colonel Lyle restored the walls using his incredible collection of panelling, and many pieces contain wonderful examples of marquetry. Some of the most intriguing seem to be half-hidden inlaid symbols and signs. Look out for the skull and crossbones and the axeman's block, but there are many more to discover.
A house of two halves
Strode House, built in 1674, was originally a stable block. This grand, red brick building bears the initials of William Strode II, who was keen to display evidence of his wealth by housing his horses and carriages in style. It was remodelled and restored in the 1920s for the Lyle family's use, and they added a connecting corridor from it to the Court. Today it's home to our dining and tearooms (currently closed).