The Parlour and its gifts
One of the great public rooms in Montacute House, the Parlour was the first step beyond the bustle of the Great Hall towards the private spaces of the Phelips family.
The room has kept its Elizabethan character in the plaster frieze and stone chimneypiece which show architectural designs that travelled across Europe to Somerset at the end of the 1500s.
In 1931, when the National Trust acquired Montacute, the house was empty. Furniture and paintings have been loaned or bequeathed by private supporters, some from public institutions like the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Most of the pieces currently in the Parlour were transferred to Montacute through the ‘Acceptance in Lieu’ scheme from the estate of the late Major Chester. A significant object may be offered to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Office in lieu of inheritance tax - it might be a special example of its kind, or have particular historical or local significance or bring significance to the collection to which it is allocated.
The tables, chairs and cabinets once furnished the rooms of Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire. The suite of chairs, the sofa, table and screen have been here on loan from Major Chester since 1945.