The original building on this site was a priory, founded by William Briwere in 1201. At the dissolution of the Monasteries the priory was acquired by William Lord Sandys, who converted it to a house. Mottisfont passed in 1684 to Sir John Mill, nephew of the last Lord Sandys. Sir John's second son, Sir Richard, succeeded in 1706. It was he who transformed the Tudor house to the form we see today. After 400 years the family sold the estate in 1934 to Gilbert Russell, a descendent of William Briwere. Mr Russell died in 1942 and in 1957 Mrs Russell gave the Abbey and Estate to the National Trust. In 1971 Mrs Russell decided to give up using the kitchen garden and in 1972 this became the home for the famous collection of historic shrub roses created by Graham Stuart Thomas. For more information follow this link to the NT site.
9 August 2008
A first visit to this National Trust property on a wet Saturday afternoon.
A side view of the house.
The stable block which now houses the information centre and exhibition hall. Each of the planted tubs here contained a different variety of runner bean.
There is a large walled garden. This houses the national collection of old-fashioned shrub roses.
4 June 2011
A return visit to this property to visit the rose gardens.
A much brighter day than our previous visit in August 2008. A nice drift of daises on the lawn next to the path to the house.
The gardens were packed with visitors today.
Quite a large globe flower head on Allium albopilosum Christophii
I like all the shades of green here contrasting with the pink and purple.
What foresight to imagine how this would look when planting.
The shop in the old stables was packed. I kept well clear!
A closer look at a corner of the house.
The western side of the house.
In this view you can just make out the Lime walk and the stables beyond.
Back to the gardens for a final dose of pollen to feed my hayfever!
A few less people around at the end of the afternoon.
A cottage garden look to this corner of the garden.
The view from the seat in the corner of the garden.
25 July 2014
A long overdue return visit.
The roses were over but the lavender was looking very good.
There were a lot of butterflies feeding on the lavender. This is a Meadow Brown.
The borders are so cleverly arranged with complementary colours.
Another row of lavender on the lawn where we sat and drank our afternoon tea!
The beautiful vaults and columns of the 13th-century wine cellar. It was rather pleasant in the cool here as it was nearly 30 deg C outside.
It was difficult to get the right angle to see the full extent of this flower display.
There were a lot of trout in the river. I am pretty sure these are Brown Trout.
1st July 2016
The House and a very stripy eastern lawn.
The western aspect of the house.
David Breuer-Weil’s Alien sculpture.
The borders were looking really spectacular. This was our favourite.
Rosa Gallica Officinalis, also known as apothecary’s rose. It is the red rose of Lancashire.
The view through the garden gateway.
A view from one of the upstairs studies.
6th June 2018
A very well timed return visit with the roses in full bloom.
It is difficult in a photo to capture the velvet sheen on this stunning dark iris.
This photograph was taken near mid-day so the light is a bit harsh.
This is my favourite photograph of the day. The dark background really makes the white flower glow.
We really were lucky to see the flowers looking so crisp and fresh.
The gateway between the sections of rose garden.
It was the white foxgloves which really set off all the other colours in the garden.
A real English country garden.
I like the back lighting in this shot.
A final view of the Abbey before we depart.
11th June 2019
A brief visit on a damp afternoon armed only with my pocket camera. The roses were looking really good.
One advantage of visiting in the rain is that there were not many people in the garden!