Barrington Court, once dated 1514 and considered an early example of a symmetrical front, was completed in the late 1550s for William Clifton, a London merchant who had been assembling a Somerset estate. Its central entry porch leads into a screens passage with the Hall on the left and, an innovation, a service passage leading to the kitchen wing that occupies the right wing. A symmetrically sited gatehouse (rebuilt) was set far forward of the house, to permit a full view of its symmetrical facade.
The interior of the house suffered from its demotion to a tenant farm, and from a fire in the early nineteenth century; after being almost derelict it was repaired under the supervision of Alfred Hoare Powell. Barrington Court was acquired by the trust in 1907 and was leased to Col. Lyle of Tate and Lyle in the 1920s. He and his wife turned the house around and refurbished the court house and renovated Strode House (built by William Strode in the 1600s) which was originally a stable and coach block. It was a this time that the Lyles contracted Gertrude Jekyll to design the three formal gardens on the property that are kept in beautiful condition by the head gardener.
Barrington Court is the only National Trust property with a tenant, this tenant being Stuart Interiors who took the lease in 1986 from Andrew Lyle grandson of Col. Lyle (co-founder of Tate and Lyle Sugar).
The kitchen garden provides produce for the property's restaurant located in the adjacent Strode House this includes all types of fruit and vegetables, the local school at Barrington and Ilton also have a vegetable plot where the children plant tend and cook the produce, the walls are also strewn with apple, pear and plum trees.
The eyes have it in new art installation ; It's not every day you walk into a house and find 80,000 eyes staring back at you. But visitors to Barrington Court, near Ilminster, are currently able to experience this extraordinary and slightly spooky sensation, for a limited time only
May 10, 2012; It's not every day you walk into a house and find 80,000 eyes staring back at you. But visitors to Barrington Court, near...