United Kingdom
Somerset

Here you’ll find travel reports about Somerset. Discover travel destinations in the United Kingdom of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

42 travelers at this place:

  • Day30

    Lytes Cary Manor

    August 30 in the United Kingdom

    Not far from Yeovil are four National Trust properties so there is a bit to see.
    In regards to Yeovil even the staff in the hotel keeping saying, “Why would you want to go into Yeovil?”
    Who are we to argue with local knowledge.

    Almost every town has a memorable church, castle, ruin or memorial .

    Still looking for Yeovil’s.

    Lyte family owned the Lytes Cary Manor for 500 years until they got into financial strife the 1700s. It went a bit of a ruin for 150 years until Sir Walter and Lady Flora Jenning bought the place in 1907,because everyone needs a project.
    They spent a few pounds on restoring it and the gardens which they did in the Arts and Crafts style.
    The Chapel attached to the house was built in 1348 replacing an early one! It’s good to have a Chapel.
    Very, very nice.
    Read more

  • Day29

    Barrington Court

    August 29 in the United Kingdom

    The trouble with staying in rural Dorset is that you are in rural Dorset.

    The Fox was a good price in a picturesque rural setting with absolutely shitty roads in and out.

    The road rules are:
    Tractors win, you move for them, they just keep going,
    All Audis are driven by women with a death wish and focussed vision
    Any blind corner will have a white van in the middle of the road
    Semi drivers are knights of the road and very patient with obvious tourists

    It was miles and miles of 0.5 lane hedged lanes, tractors, cars, JOGGERS and of course white vans.

    Having asked for best way out of Ansty and the way to Yeovil,the barman's reply was "I don't really really know north Dorset. "
    We were travelling about 12km form where he lives!!!!

    Eventually got to Barrington Court itself which of course was up a 4 mile lane.

    Amazing place. (Getting sick of that description yet?)

    Built as a great Tudor House built in thr 15502 with a stable block built in 1675. As these it was in very poor state by 1775 and went down from there as a tenanted farm.

    Chickens in the Great Hall, cider barrels stored in the main room and hay in master bedroom, rain and owls on the top floor.

    The newly formed National Trust were asked if the wanted it and they said yes in 1907.

    Then they got the builders report and the roof repair was more that their total assets.

    Enter Colonel Lyle.

    In 1917 he offerd to lease it for 99 years, pay 400 pound a year rent and undertake all repairs.
    It appears we was a multimillion site and spent the equivalent of 5 million pounds on the project.
    His problem was he collected architectural salvage particularly wood panelling and had ton as of the stuff in storage. A few present persons come to mind.
    First he built a house to live in, then he converted stables, then he renovated the Tudor house.
    Then he moved in with all his wall panelling.

    Glad he took it on.

    In 1991 his grandson called it a day and handed it all back to the Trust.
    Read more

  • Day30

    Montacute

    August 30 in the United Kingdom

    Enormous Elizabethan house.
    I know you are surprised.
    Built by a wool merchant and lawyer who was also an MP and a judge. We are sure he wasn’t status conscious.
    Was involved in the trials of Sir Walter Raleigh and the Guy Fawkes plotters. Knighted for his efforts.
    Very good guide around the property and a lot of the place makes more sense.
    150 years after the place was built the local road had changed so they bought the front from a local manor and stuck on the back to create a new front door!!!!Read more

  • Day32

    Cleeve Abbey

    September 1 in the United Kingdom

    Literally 150 yds from where we were staying was one of the best intact examples of monastic buildings in England.

    Founed in 1198 with 12 Cistercian monks it was always a tier 2 Abbey and just plugged along for 350 years.
    The official name of the abbey was Vallis Florida, (Latin: 'Flowering Valley') but throughout its history it was generally known as Cleeve after the nearby village. Isn’t it always the same.
    In addition to various landholdings with produced rent they held the Right of Wreck, which meant they could claim shipwrecks washed up on the shore of their lands. What a bonus.

    Eventually got the chop with the Dissolution and the church was pulled down with the rest of the buildings used as a farm for 400 years or so. This actually saved it in many ways. Eventually our friends from Dunster Castle gave it to the state in lieu of death duties in 1951 and English Heritage ended up with it in 1988.

    Unusual for English Heritage as there are roves and rooms and something to walk through.

    We had the place to ourselves. The British are not early starters we have decided, especially on a Staurday.
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  • Day30

    Dunster Castle Mill

    August 30 in the United Kingdom

    What would a castle be without a mill.

    In fact a double overshot mill.

    Dunster of course has one (pretty silly post otherwise) and it was been restored to all it’s glory and mills flour for sale.

    Very interesting place although I have to admit that we dodged a bullet and avoided the extremely enthusiastic guide who kept telling us their was a tour soon.

  • Day31

    Dunster Castle

    August 31 in the United Kingdom

    We did leave Hestercombe House on the off chance that the roads would be better.

    Lost that bet.

    8 miles of lane, 3 horses, one white van and we didn’t have to back up once.

    Who is the patron saint of back lanes?

    Duster Castle was worth the drive.

    There has been a Castle is on the site since Saxon times, then the Normans, then the rest.

    During the English Civil War the castle declared for Parliament and got besieged by Royalists then declared for the King and got besieged by Parliamentarians.

    The second time they surrendered and the outer defensive walls were pulled down.
    Luckily for us just before the boys stated on the rest orders came to stop so there is quite a bit left over. Quite a bit.

    It had the usual 18th century makeover and quite a few changes inside and out. Even got a modern kitchen in the 1950s.

    Following the death of Alexander Luttrell in 1944, the family was unable to afford the death duties on his estate. The castle and surrounding lands an dvillages were sold off to a property firm, the family continuing to live in the castle as tenants. The Luttrells bought back the castle in 1954, but in 1976 Colonel Walter Luttrell gave Dunster Castle and most of its contents to the National Trust. It is a Grade I listed building and scheduled monument. (Wikipedia).

    This could all have been avoided if Alexander had handed the estate to his son John earlier but it appears he believed in “paying his way” so stiffed him with the taxes.

    We are now thinking of doing something similar with our extensive estates.

    You walk a million miles up and down but well worth it.
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  • Day77

    Dunster Castle

    July 17 in the United Kingdom

    This National Trust property was once a castle, and has been lived in by the one family and their descendants for the last 600 years. It was remodeled and added onto in the Victorian era, making it into an elegant country home.

    The garden is terraced and planted with beautiful flowering trees, shrubs, and other plants, and overlooks the Bristol Channel and the Southern Wales coast.

  • Day79

    Cheddar, as in Cheese

    July 19 in the United Kingdom

    We went to the town of Cheddar, to see the cheese-making process. Cheddar cheese is named for cheddaring, an extra step in the process which was developed there.

    Unpasteurized milk is heated and rennet is added. Once curds are formed, they are cut into cubes, and when the pH is right, the whey is drained off. Then the curds are shoveled into a cooling bin, allowed to set, and then the cheddaring begins. The mats of curds are cut and stacked so more whey drains off, then they are cut and stacked some more, until the stacks are about 4 blocks high.

    It takes about 7 hours to make milk into cheese, and then it is aged. We watched a while, had lunch, and went back again to watch some more steps.
    Read more

  • Day76

    Taunton Housesit

    July 16 in the United Kingdom

    We moved to Taunton to care for two 5 year old cats named Darcy and Lizzie (brother and sister). They are very affectionate. We are staying in a new townhouse; the owner just moved into 2 weeks ago. We are looking forward to exploring a new area!

  • Day81

    Montacute House

    July 21 in the United Kingdom

    Sir Edward Phelips, a member of Parliament and then Speaker of the Houses of Commons, had this house built in 1601 as a statement of his power and wealth. This is one of the best examples of Elizabethan Renaissance architecture in England,

    The original front of the house was on the East side. In 1787, a later Edward Phelips took an ornamental facade from another local 16th century house, and added it to the West side. This made a new front with a corridor inside, so rooms could have their own doors. Before this family and visitors would have to go through each other’s rooms to get from one side of the house to the other.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Somerset, SOM, Comtat de Somerset, Gwlad yr Haf, サマセット州, Gwlas an Hav, Somersetensis comitatus, Сомерсет

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