Things to see and do in Lytes Cary Manor house
Step inside the main rooms in the oldest part of the house. Discover how the Jenner family decorated and used the rooms in their home. Find out what special collection items can be seen including two leather mannequins and an embroidered mirror.
Exploring the manor
A loved and cherished home, the manor house at Lytes Cary gives the impression of grandeur but it’s on an intimate scale. You can explore the medieval parts of the house, where the rooms remain as the Jenners restored and furnished them, full of unpainted and unpolished woodwork, faded tapestries and family collectables.
An embroidered mirror
In the Great Parlour, this mirror is surrounded by three dimensional embroidery called stumpwork. The colourful stumpwork is made up of five components of varying age. The top and side panels were completed by Sir Walter Jenner’s sister-in-law when she stayed here in the 1920s.
The embroidery close-up
The lower section of embroidery is much older work possibly dating back to the 1660s. The embroidery of the building can be matched to Lytes Cary Manor. The two figures at the bottom are King Charles I and his wife, Henrietta Maria. It was glazed and framed during the 1960s.
The Niewe Herball
In the Oriel Room you will see a first edition of the ground-breaking book, The Niewe Herball, a 16th century medical text published by the house’s occupant Henry Lyte in 1578. It is based on the Cruydeboeck, a Flemish book by Rembert Dodoens which Henry translated and expanded with his own botanical knowledge. His book, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I “from my poor house at Lytescarie”, was more than a translation. He added his own observations even noting local places in Somerset where specimens could be found.
A pair of Delft tulip vases
A centrepiece of the Great Hall displays are a towering pair of ‘flower pyramids’, made in the 1690s in the factories at Delft in the Netherlands. This six-tiered vase was used for displaying expensive cut flowers and is painted with religious figures emblematic of Justice, Charity, Hope and Prudence.
The ‘Good Companions’
Look out for two mannequins standing either side of the fireplace in the Great Parlour. They are created from moulding leather around a central metal framework. The purpose of the two rather unusual models is unknown but it’s thought that they may have been brought to the table when there were 13 people for dinner.
Further information about the manor
Some parts of the house still have functional uses, such as the tea-room and offices. The West Wing, an early 20th-century addition of Sir Walter Jenner, is let as holiday accommodation. If you’d like to stay in this quiet and historic location find out more about the holiday accommodation.
Please bear in mind when plannning your visit to the house, the ground floor of the house and chapel are open daily from 11am to 3pm (last entry at 2.45pm) and the house is closed daily from 12.45 - 1.30pm.
Find out about the people who lived here including those rewarded by royalty and a couple who rescued the manor from decay. See how the manor and garden changed over time.
Explore the garden and see the unusual shaped topiary trees and hedges or catch the light on the sundial in the orchard.
Get outdoors and explore the waymarked paths through the historic country estate. Look out for wildlife including chiffchaffs, roe deer and water voles that call this place home.
The tea-room serves light bites, drinks and sweet treats. Browse the selection in the second-hand book barn and find a pre-loved read to take home.
Learn about some of the wildlife that thrives here and the carved characters and creatures you may spot in the house or simply enjoy some quality time in the great outdoors.
Historic buildings are a treasure trove of stories, art and collections. Learn more about what makes these places so special and plan your visit.
Discover decorative mansions and humble Georgian dwellings. Explore a wide variety of historic homes and find out about the people that lived there. There’s plenty to see and do with the family in Somerset.