The National Portrait Gallery and Montacute House

Walter Ralegh & Son portrait from the National Portrait Gallery on display at Montacute House

Please note that the Long Gallery which hosts the National Portrait Gallery is now closed due to conservation work and will re-open in March 2018. We apologise for any inconvenience.

We have been in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery for 40 years, giving our visitors the opportunity to see collections beyond their London gallery. You can see over 50 remarkable portraits within the original Elizabethan house.

The Long Gallery displays Tudor and Jacobean paintings on loan from the National Portrait Gallery in London. The portraits depict some of the most important individuals from this period, including monarchs, statesmen, courtiers, artists and writers.

Room One - Portrait in Focus

This very special portrait is directly linked to Montacute and the Phelips family.  It is believed that the portrait was given by King James I to Edward Phelips in recognition of his services and support of the crown.  Edward played a key role in one of the events of the century, the trial of Guy Fawkes after the Gunpowder plot in 1604; he was a trained lawyer and led the opening argument for the prosecution.   

Room Two – The Court of Henry VIII

This room explores the portraiture of some of the key figures from Henry’s court

Room Three - Elizabethan England

The growing interest in portraiture during Elizabeth’s reign can be seen in this room

Room Four - Copying Holbein

Working with MA students from the University of Bristol, this display brings together a selection of works after the painter Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8–1543) to discuss the artist’s legacy in England

Room Five - The Jacobean Court

The portraits in this room reflect the sophistication of the best Jacobean painting and the dominance of artists from the Netherlands

" Beautiful House and amazing portrait collection from the National Portrait Gallery. Fascinating and intriguing, enough information was given about each to make me want to find out more... "
- Visitor Summer 2015