Summer at Mompesson House

Visitors walking up the staircase

This summer discover the love story of Jinny Townsend and Willie Hammick in our 2019 exhibition. You can explore the exhibition every day until Sunday 3 November, 11am - 4.30pm. Normal admission applies.

Standing by my darling's side: A Victorian experience of life, love and loss

Our 2019 exhibition tells the untold story of Jinny Townsend, resident of the house, who kept an almost daily diary from the age of 15 in 1859 until 1882, writing up to just a few months before her death. Jinny's diaries provide a valuable description of the daily life of the young ladies who lived in Salisbury at that time detailing everything from skating parties, sketching and afternoon walks to Jinny's eventful romance with future husband Willie. 

Portrait of Jinny Townsend from 1872, painted by her sister Barbara
Portrait of Jinny Townsend from 1872, painted by her sister Barbara
Portrait of Jinny Townsend from 1872, painted by her sister Barbara

The title of the exhibition was inspired by Jinny's actual wedding day diary entry in June 1879.

" At last it had come! And I felt so glad in waking. I had slept with Barbara. Gertrude alone. Felt a little trembly while dressing for the wedding, but it went off when I went down to them all in the drawing room. We all walked over to Church and I felt most cheerful. Willie came out of the Vestry and Uncle and I joined him, and then the service began! I can't write about it! Felt so happy and at home standing by my darling's side and then we went. He managed it all so well and we walked down through the church being kissed by many kind friends. "

- Entry from Jinny's diary, 17 June 1879 - her wedding day

The exhibition includes Jinny's wedding dress and shoes as well as a variety of sketches and paintings of Jinny by her sister Barbara.

After you've seen the exhibition, why not follow in the footsteps of Jinny and her sisters and take a walk around the Cathedral Close. Pick up a leaflet in the house or at the exit. 

Eat and shop

The garden tea-room is the perfect place for morning coffee, a light lunch or afternoon tea away from the hustle and bustle of Salisbury city centre. To round off your visit, why not pop into the Studio shop in the courtyard with its unique 1950s décor and browse the seasonal National Trust ranges. There'll be regular tastings and offers throughout the summer.

Enjoying tea and cake in the garden tea-room
Visitors having tea and cake in the garden tea-room
Enjoying tea and cake in the garden tea-room

Relax in the garden

Borrow a blanket and sit on the lawn or sit on one of the benches, admire the colourful borders and watch the world go by. On selected days, local musicians will be playing in the garden. 

  • Northumbrian Pipers - Saturday 1 June and Saturday 6 July, 11am-4.30pm
  • Ottocorde Mandolin Group - Saturday 13 July, 2.30-4pm 
  • Wessex Folk Orchestra - Saturday 3 August, 2.30-4pm 
  • Viol Group - Saturday 10 August, 2.30-4pm
The garden in summer

Summer in the garden at Mompesson House  

In summer the borders in Mompesson's tranquil garden are a vibrant showcase of floral colour and scent. Here are some of the highlights.