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Top 10 unique houses

A long path lined with clipped yew balls leads the eye to a huge, round stone mansion
The Rotunda with newly restored roof, Ickworth, Suffolk | © National Trust Images/Jim Woolf

Discover some of the most unusual houses in our care that you can visit. From the biggest to the smallest and from the scariest to the most innovative, every place has its own story to tell.

A modern masterpiece
Appearing to have ‘grown’ out of the rock face, Standen House, Sussex, was designed to look as though it has always been there. With fine views of the Medway Valley and Ashdown Forest, Standen has been recognised as one of the most charming examples of Arts and Crafts workmanship in the UK.Visit Standen House
The perfect country house
With a history dating back to the 1570s, it wasn't until the 20th century that Packwood House, Warwickshire, was transformed into Baron Ash's vision of the perfect English country home. Furnished with a combination of antique textiles, polished wood, faded gold and other extraordinary objects, the ideal of timeless Englishness is enhanced by freshly cut flowers placed in every room.Visit Packwood House
A conservation triumph
Explore the previously unopen rooms at Mount Stewart in County Down, which has been restored to its early 20th-century glory. A team of experts undertook extensive repairs and completely redecorated the neo-classical house, which was once home to Edith, Lady Londonderry. The three-year-long project cost £8 million and involved 200 volunteers.Visit Mount Stewart
Arts and Crafts design soft furnishings, including cushions, a rug, and curtains, in The Drawing Room at Standen House, West Sussex
Arts and Crafts design soft furnishings, including cushions, a rug, and curtains, in the Drawing Room at Standen House, West Sussex | © National Trust Images/James Dobson
Celebrated servants
Sitting on a dramatic escarpment above the winding River Clywedog, Erddig, Denbighshire, tells the 250-year story of a family’s relationship with its servants. Originally built for Joshua Edisbury, High Sheriff of Denbighshire, it was the Yorke family who started the unique tradition of commemorating their staff with pictures and poems.Visit Erddig
Most romantic royal connection
While kings, queens and other royalty have visited and stayed at several places we look after, Polesden Lacey in Surrey was a romantic royal getaway. The Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother), spent part of their honeymoon there in 1923. Renowned hostess Mrs Greville also welcomed Edward VII and George V as visitors to her Edwardian country retreat.Visit Polesden Lacey
The finest art
Petworth House in West Sussex has many great works of art on display, including pieces by Turner, Van Dyck and Reynolds. You’ll also find treasures like the Molyneux Globe, thought to be the earliest English terrestrial globe in existence, and A Vision of the Last Judgment – a dramatic work of art by William Blake.Visit Petworth
Family talking to a room guide in the North Gallery, Petworth House and Park, West Sussex
Family exploring the North Gallery at Petworth House, West Sussex | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey
The most magnificent
With its towering walls of glass and the glow of Ham stone, Montacute House, Somerset, was always meant to be a dazzling display of wealth and power. Designed by local builder and architect William Arnold, the architecture is rooted in Gothic, polished with Flemish and Renaissance influences. On the east front stand the Nine Worthies, statues of biblical, classical and medieval figures, which include Julius Caesar and King Arthur.Visit Montacute House
A recycled library
Once an important Tudor palace but with a library created from recycled wood and furniture, The Vyne, Hampshire, is an atmospheric mansion that has some illustrious connections, from Henry VIII to Jane Austen.Visit The Vyne
Just like home
Although the collection of art and design at Wightwick Manor, West Midlands, is of the highest quality, it is the Mander family archive full of letters and photos, covering their whole lives, that stands out. Making Wightwick Manor even more like home, you can play with toys in the nursery, try out the full-size billiards table or head to the kitchen where the old range is still in use and lit on cold days.Visit Wightwick Manor
The roundest
Though the entire house isn't round, the iconic Rotunda at Ickworth House in Suffolk stands out from the crowd. The house was built as an 18th-century palace to display lots of treasures collected over generations. The Rotunda forms the centrepiece of the Ickworth estate, showcasing an internationally renowned art and silver collection. While we close to free-flow visitors during the winter to complete our conservation work, you can still book a free, guided tour of the house and basement on weekdays.Visit Ickworth
Small girl running between conical topiary hedges in the Cherry Garden at Ham House

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