Mompesson House (Salisbury): a comfortable town house lacking original furniture

Mompesson House is a typical NT house, i.e. lacking its original contents.

As such, while it’s a nice, comfortable Queen Anne town house, it lacks a homely feeling because of its hotch potch of borrowed collections, exhibitions and dowdy furniture (with a couple of stars thrown in).

Do visit if you like novelty porcelain!

Reason to visit: lovely example of a replica doll’s house and an impressive collection of early wine glasses.  It’s also where a Sense and Sensibility film with Kate Winslet was filmed so if you’re a fan of Jane Austen it might tickle your fancy.

Here’s the low down:

  • a large hall;
  • an impressive venetian window over a wide oak staircase;
  • a morning room to the right of the hall exhibiting a collection of early wine glasses (the room steward refused to tell me anything about them, claiming to know nothing and telling me to read the handout!);
  • an exhibition in the morning room;
  • detailed door frames;
  • a sitting room to the rear with interesting vegetable-formation porcelain (by Wedgewood et al) and windows that would at one time have opened up straight into the garden;
  • downstairs study with interesting plasterwork on the ceiling;
  • upstairs four rooms open: one showing the dilapidated state before refurbishment, a sitting room (check out the interesting pie-crust edged table) and two bedrooms.
Model Mompesson House in the exhibition room

There’s a nice garden, welcoming tea room and it’s definitely worth a stop if you have a NT card and happen to be in Salisbury.  Otherwise, it’s probably not worth a specific trip (it reminds me of Fairfax House in York but a more faded, tired version).  Mompesson House is right next door to the Cathedral though so you can certainly fit it into a suitably entertaining itinerary.

Time to visit: about 20 minutes.

House: **

Garden: **

Website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-mompessonhouse

Interesting Greek Key carved doorframes

Theme tune: Gone Fishing, Louis Armstrong

Wide, deep, decorated staircase


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