Curator's choice at Montacute House

My job as a curator is incredibly varied. I provide advice related to collections, buildings, gardens and parkland, but I find myself involved almost anywhere. Perhaps part of a team developing event programmes, researching building repairs, improving the cafe or planning gardener’s facilities. My role is about the long-term care, conservation and use of Montacute, but also about how to share it with you. The buildings and collections are full of things for the curious. These few are just tasters, which I hope will tell you something about the spirit of Montacute House.

Barbara Wood, Curator Barbara Wood Curator
A view along all 172 feet of Montacute's long gallery

The longest survivor: the Long Gallery at Montacute House

Montacute’s gallery may have been one of the last examples built of this ‘must have’ feature of great Elizabethan houses, it is also the longest which survives.

Section of a sampler dated 1662 Easle Swinson at Montacute House

An impulsive purchase - the Goodhart sampler collection

When he bought a single sampler, Douglas Goodhart had no idea that he was beginning 30 years of work which would create a collection of international significance.

Detail from Portrait of James 1 of England and VI of Scotland by John de Critz the elder

We couldn't do it without you - generous support from a volunteer helps Montacute House

There are many beautiful objects at Montacute House. This one is special because of a very generous volunteer.

Visitors outside the west front of Montacute House

Can an extension to your house change your life?

Edward Phelips V and his wife Maria, bought an entire corridor from another local house, which transformed both the appearance and use of Montacute.

Stained Glass Window at Montacute House

An ambitious lawyer - a portrait of Edward Phelips

Looking at this picture, I can’t help but wonder about the man whose ambition led to the magnificent and beautiful building in which his likeness still hangs.