The English city Bath is the perfect base to visit beautiful English stately homes. The stately homes near Bath have interesting histories. From a former Royal manor to the former home of the creator of the first photographic camera negative.
With a diverse range of architecture styles. The stately homes around Bath are a pleasure for architecture lovers. But these manor houses around Bath have more to offer. You can find some of the best garden designs at these country houses around Bath.
Not only are the stately homes around Bath steeped in history. But they also might look very familiar to you. Because many stately homes around Bath are used as a filming location. From the BBC series Poldark to the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice and the 2020 adaptation of The Secret Garden. It is very likely that you have seen one of these manors in a television series or film.
Great Chalfield Manor & Garden
This 15th century manor house is built between 1465 and 1480 for Thomas Tropenell. At the center of the house lies the Hall. Which is flanked by unusually symmetrical gable cross wings and oriel windows.
Over the centuries Great Chalfield Manor has known several owners. And during this time the house underwent substantial changes. Unfortunately some original elements have been lost during these years. The moat surrounding the house was partly removed. And the great Hall was turned into a farmhouse. Therby losing the ornate ceiling.
Major Robert Fuller restored and furnished the house between 1905 and 1911. Garden designer Alfred Parsons created a new Arts & Crafts garden surrounding the manor house. The romantic garden has an orchard, pond, yew houses and a variety of flowers and plants.
Great Chalfield Manor as film location
The manor house has often been used as a film location. Great Chalfield Manor can be seen in BBC’s Wives and Daughters as Hamley Hall. Wolf Hall (were it was used as Austin Friars) and The Other Boleyn Girl were also partly filmed here.
And most recently Great Chalfield Manor is used as filming location for Killewarran House in the BBC’s Poldark television series.
Visit Great Chalfield Manor
The house is now owned by the National Trust. The manor and garden are open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday.
How far is Great Chalfield Manor from Bath? 10 miles
The country house was built for politician William Blathwayt in the late 17th and early 18th century. The Baroque house, whose facade was designed by William Talman, is surrounded by ancient parkland and a wonderful garden.
Transport yourself back to the 17th century with a visit to Dyrham House. The house has a large art and furniture collection. Particularly artwork from Holland with several Dutch Masters hanging on the walls in Dyrham House. And the house also has a fine collection of blue and white Dutch Delftware.
Surrounding the house are 274 acres of parkland and gardens. The gardens were originally designed by George London at the same time the house was built. But in the 18th century Charles Harcourt Masters designed new gardens for the house. The gardens include pool gardens, Nichol’s perry pear orchard and a Fountain Court.
Dyrham Park as Film Location
Several period dramas use Dyrham Park as a film location. Dyrham is one of the houses used as filming location for Remains of the Day. It also appears in BBC’s Wives and Daughters and the film Australia.
The Doctor Who episode “Night Terrors” is filmed at Dyrham Park. And the house also appears in Sandition and as George Warleggan’s home in BBC’s Poldark.
Most recently Dyrham Park is used as a filming location for BBC’s adaptation of The Persuit of Love after the Nancy Mitford novel by the same name.
Visit Dyrham Park
Dyrham Park is owned by the National Trust. The house, gardens and tea room are open daily.
How far is Dyrham Park from Bath? 10 miles
The current Corsham Court manor house was built in 1582. But before that Corsham had a Royal past. Corsham was already a Royal manor during the Saxon Kings. And after William the Conqueror the manor was passed down through mulitiple generations of Royals. Two of Henry VIII’s wives lived at Corsham. Henry’s first wife, Catharine of Aragon lived here until 1536. And Katherine Parr, Henry’s 6th wife, lived here until 1548.
Thomas Smythe built the current Corham Court in 1582. And in the early 18th century the Gothic entrance archway was built.
In 1745 Sir Paul Methuen bought Corsham Court for his cousing. And the house is still in private ownership by the Methuen family up to this day. In the late 18th century architect John Nash remodeled the façade in Strawberry Hill Gothic style. Most of John Nash’s work has been lost when the house was again remodeled in the 19th century. But the library is still by design of John Nash.
Paul Ayshford Methuen, 4th Baron Methuen was a painter and after World War II he invited the Bath Academy of Art to move into Coursham Court. So it comes as no surprise that Corsham Court has a fine art collection.
Corsham Court as Film Location
Corsham Court is used as a filming location for Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. The house also featured in the 1993 movie Remains of the Day.
Visit Corsham Court
Between March 20-September 30th the house is open Tuesday-Thursday & Saturday-Sunday
Between October-March the house is only open on the weekends (it’s closed in December)
The Breakfast Room and Library in the private wing are open for guided tours on selected days.
How far is Corsham Court from Bath? 11 miles
Lacock Abbey is a stone country house built on the remains of a 13th century abbey. The house has a Tudor stable courtyard with original features that have been preserved. This includes a brewhouse and a bakehouse.
It later became the home of the Talbot family. And in the 19th century Lacock Abbey was the residence of William Henry Fox Talbot. He made (perhaps the first) photographic camera negative of one of the windows at Lacock Abbey.
In 1944 Lacock Abbey and the surrounding village were gifted to the National Trust. The Abbey now houses the Fox Talbot museum.
Lacock Abbey as film location
The manor house is used as a filming location for BBC’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (1995). Lacock is used for interior shots of Mr. Darcy’s home Pemberley as well as the interiors of Cambridge University.
Are you curious where the movie ánd BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice were filmed? You can read all about that in our Pride & Prejudice filming locations blog post.
Visit Lacock Abbey
Lacock Abbey, the Fox Talbot Museum, the village and the stables café are open daily. The courtyard tea house is only open on the weekends.
How far is Lacock Abbey from Bath? 14 miles
Located in one of the most beautiful villages in England stands Iford Manor. While the façade is from the 18th century. The origins of Iford date back the the late 15th or early 16th century.
Iford is best known for its beautiful Grade I listed gardens. The garens are designed by garden architect Harold Peto in the early 20th century. He lived in the house from 1899 till his death in 1933. He loved Italian gardens and this is visible in the garden design at Iford Manor.
Much of the garden was lost in World War II but the new owners, the Cartwright-Hignett family, have restored the gardens. The garden is also extened and now also has a Japanese garden. When you visit Iford you can enjoy three miles of footpaths crossing the estate grounds.
Iford Manor as film location
Iford Manor is most recently used as a filming location for the 2020 adaptation of The Secret Garden. And also for the ITV adaptation of Jane Austen‘s Sandition.
Visit & Stay at Iford Manor
The gardens at Iford Manor are open between April and September on Wednesday-Sunday (and Bank Holiday Mondays). Children under the age of 10 will not be admitted to the garden. A new café has been opend in 2021.
You can also stay at Rowley Cottage on the Iford Manor estate. The cottage sleeps up till 6 people.
How far is Iford Manor from Bath? 7 miles
Westwood Manor is a modest but beautiful manor house. The built of the manor house started in the 15th century. And in later centuries the manor has been extended.
In the 20th century the house was bought by Edgar Lister. He renovated and restored the manor house to its 17th century glory. Recovering 17th century plasterwork, original windows and wall paneling. Therefor Westwood Manor now shows a combination of Medieval, Tudor and Jacobean features.
The collection at Westwood Manor features the country’s earliest Italian keyboard instrument, dating back to 1537. A spinet built in 1711 by Stephen Keene is also part of the collection.
Visit Westwood Manor
Westwood Manor is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday.
How far is Westwood Manor from Bath? 8 miles
Farleigh Hungerford Castle
Located in the valley of the river Frome stand the remains of Farleigh Hungerford Castle. The castle was built in the 14th century and owned by the Hungerford family for more than 300 years.
The Audio Tour and graphic panels tell you the (sometimes gruesome) history of the castle and the family. And the castle offers more. There is a chapel with rare Medieval wall paintings and family tombs. A priest’s house and a crypt with human-shaped lead coffins.
Visit Farleigh Hungerford Castle
The castle is open daily.
How far is Farleigh Hungerford Castle from Bath? 8 miles
On hill overlooking Bath stands the Palladian manor house Prior Park. The house was built in the 1730s and 1740s for philantropist Ralph Allen. In 1828 Bishop Baines bought the house to use it as a Roman Catholic College. A chapel and gymnasium were added after a design by architect Henry Goodridge. The house is currently used by Prior Park College.
The 18th century landscaped gardens were designed by poet Alexander Pope and landscape designer Capability Brown. The garden features a Palladian architecture bridge (only one of four remaining in this style), a Gothic temple, historic dams and a lake.
Since 1993 the garden is owned by the National Trust who are carefully restoring the garden.
Visit Prior Park Landscape Garden
The garden is open daily.
Since the early 18th century the Stourhead estate has been the home of the Hoare family. Colen Campbell designed the new Palladian manor house between 1721 and 1725. The Hoare family were fierce collectors and over the next 200 years they filled their home with a large library and art collection.
Though the house was destroyed by fire in the ealry 20th century many of the heirlooms were saved. And after this event the house was rebuilt in identical style.
Not only the house and its colletion are worth a visit. The Stourhead garden is definitely worth a visit. The garden first opened in 1740 and is described as “a living work of art”. The man-made lake is the centerpiece of the garden. Surrounding the lake are paths offering beautiful views of the hills, plants and classical buildings.
Stourhead as film location
The Stourhead garden can be seen in the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Stourhead gardens feature as Rosings garden were MR. Darcy first proposes to Elizabeth Bennet.
See also: Pride & Prejudice Filming Locations
The Stourhead Estate is part of the National Trust and it’s open to visitors on a daily basis
How far is Stourhead from Bath? 25 miles
This stately homes is the seat of the Marquesses of Bath. Longleat is a great example of an Elizabethan prodigy house. The house has been the seat of the Thynn family since they held the title Marquess of Bath in 1789.
Longleat was the first stately home to be opened to the public and today you can visit 15 rooms in the Elizabethan house. From a Great Hall with giant paintings to the library with more than 40.000 volumes. When you visit Longleat you can enjoy 450 years of history.
But Longleat has more to offer than just a stately home with landcaped gardens. Longleat is also a safari park. It is the first drive through Safari Park outside Africa and the home of more than 500 animals.
Due to the Corona virus the house is currently closed for visitors.
The safari park is open
How far is Longleat from Bath? 18 miles
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