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Things to see and do in Lytes Cary Manor house

View of the house and Apostle Garden at Lytes Cary Manor
View of the house and Apostle Garden at Lytes Cary Manor | © Tamsin Holmes

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.

Detail of the mirror frame showing the manor at Lytes Cary Manor, Somerset
Detail of the mirror frame at Lytes Cary Manor, Somerset | © National Trust Images/John Hammond

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.

Find out more about the mirror.

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.

Delftware tulip vases - two tin glazed earthenware pyramids in blue and white
Delft tulip vases at Lytes Cary Manor | © National Trust Images/Nadia Mackenzie

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.

Find out more about the vases.

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.

Discover further information about the figures.

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.

The south front of Lytes Cary Manor by J.C. Buckler

Lytes Cary Manor's collections

Explore the objects and works of art we care for at Lytes Cary Manor on the National Trust Collections website.

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The south front of Lytes Cary Manor by J.C. Buckler
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