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Visiting Barrington Court's house

Visitors on the South front of Barrington Court, Somerset
Visitors on the South front of Barrington Court, Somerset | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Barrington Court is home to a beautiful Tudor mansion that went through an impressive restoration during the 1920s. Nestled in the Somerset countryside, the home is full of mystery and has a real sense of freedom.

House closures and outside house tours

Court house and Strode house are currently closed after weather conditions damaged part of the roofs. The houses will remain closed for some time as we carry out research to ensure we restore and repair using the correct materials whilst minimising environmental impact.

On weekdays you can join a volunteer led, walking guided tour around the outside of both houses. The Tale of Two Houses talk explores the relationship between the two buildings, the history of the estate, and highlights the architectural gems such as the ham stone roof finials and the unusual and decorative rainwater systems. The talk is free of charge and open to all but please note that the tour is Monday to Friday only, and subject to volunteer availability.

Colonel Lyle’s collection

Barrington Court was taken on by Colonel Lyle and his wife ‘Ronnie’ in 1920. The next five years saw a major restoration project at the Tudor mansion. Colonel Lyle had a passion for collecting historic woodwork and fireplaces rescued from lost houses.

With the help of the architect James Edwin Forbes, Lyle put a lot of his collection to good use at Barrington Court. For example, the staircase in the east hall is believed to have been saved from a Scottish castle. Other items he acquired include linenfold panelling, fireplaces and surrounds.

The Great Hall

Barrington Court’s Great Hall resonates with the atmosphere of parties past. This is where people would have gathered to celebrate a family occasion, have a weekend party with friends or even hold a fancy dress ball.

The room would have been full of laughter, music and dancing, while the golden stars shimmered in a midnight-blue ceiling. You can imagine gossiping guests gazing down on the room from the minstrels’ gallery.

The bath taps and blue-and-white Delft tiles in the bathroom at Barrington Court, Somerset
The taps and tiles in Barrington Court's bathroom | © National Trust Images / Andrew Butler

Historic bathrooms

There are several historic bathrooms to discover at Barrington Court. Visitors can glimpse the Tudor garderobe on the climb up the east staircase. However, the master bedroom is home to a more sophisticated bathroom, which boasts an Edwardian flushing water closet.

All of Barrington’s ‘modern’ bathrooms contain beautiful hand-painted tiles, selected by Ronnie Lyle.

One of Barrington Court’s most stunning features is the Long Gallery. Running the length of the attic floor, it would have been used for indoor exercise during the Tudor era.

However, by the 20th century, it was in need of repair. In fact, when Canon Rawnsley, co-founder of the National Trust, visited Barrington Court in 1907 he described the Long Gallery as being ‘full of holes, providing a great home for owls’.

Fortunately, Colonel Lyle restored the gallery’s walls using his collection of panelling. In fact, many pieces contain wonderful details and marquetry, including a skull and crossbones as well as an axeman’s block.

Strode House

Barrington Court is a house of two halves. Strode house was originally a stable block, built in 1674. The grand, red brick building bears the initials of William Strode II, who displayed his wealth by housing his horses and carriages in style.

Almost 250 years later, the Lyles remodelled and restored Strode House. This included adding a connecting corridor from the main building to Strode House.

A family looking in the pond in the Lily Garden at Barrington Court

Discover more at Barrington Court

Find out when Barrington Court is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Barrington Court developed from Roman times until the 20th century when the grand Tudor mansion was restored with a remarkable collection of antique panelling.

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Find out more about what family activities are available at Barrington Court in Somerset, and plan your visit

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Explore the garden of Barrington Court throughout the seasons. See the fruit and produce growing in the Kitchen Garden or enjoy the tranquillity and beautiful borders of formal, walled garden areas.

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Group visits to Barrington Court 

Barrington Court is an ideal place to visit as a group as there’s something for every to enjoy and discover. Find out how to organise a group visit and the available perks.

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Historic buildings are a treasure trove of stories, art and collections. Learn more about their histories and plan your next visit.

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