A Tudor palace
When Lord Sandys was gifted Mottisfont, he set about transforming the priory into a grand house. During the 1500s and 1600s the Sandys divided their time between Mottisfont and their family seat, The Vyne.
To create his new home, Sandys used the surviving monastic buildings. This included converting the priory church into his main living accommodation, while retaining the outer courts on the south lawn.
Sandys had spent a lot of time in Europe, and he imported new building materials from the continent for his refurbishment. His changes created a modern, contemporary home, and the roof timbers to his Great Chamber can still be seen in the house, as well as other features such as fireplaces.
Sandys new house was sufficiently grand to host royal visits, with King Edward VI visiting for three days in 1552, with visits from Queen Elizabeth I in 1569 and 1574.
In 1684, the eighth and last Baron Sandys died childless, and Mottisfont was left to his nephew Sir John Mill.