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.