Near Milton Abbey, Dorset Country Hotel

The interior of this great house is much as it was originally, the elaborate carpentry being especially worthy of note.

There’s much to recommend a visit to Milton Abbey, especially if you’re interested in architecture, antiques and art.

There’s a splendid cantilevered stone staircase with a mahogany handrail and large impressive family portraits.

Milton Abbey was founded by King Athelstan (925-39) but the early buildings were destroyed in a fire in 1309. The present 14th and 15th century church is huge and comprises only the chancel, tower and transepts.

In 1774, the mansion was built next door to the church in a complementary Gothic style. The 15thC Abbot’s Hall bears the inscription ‘Anno Dm. 1498’, dating it precisely.

From the courtyard the austere and very un-medieval symmetry of the 18th century house can be appreciated, with the porch of the 15th century Abbot’s Hall (18th century top) forming the centre of one side, flanked by eighth century corridors. In the Queen’s Room are exquisite teak and mahogany chests and a mahogany table. The King’s Room is a magnificent example of a Georgian chamber room. The Library is famous for its intricate ceiling design. There are elaborate doorframes, white marble fireplaces, and fine plaster ceilings, some with an attractive central feather motif. One room has large portraits (including George I and III) set into the walls, and another original shelves, possibly for displaying china.

300 yards to the east of the abbey is St Catherine’s Chapel, also built by King Athelstan.

In 1953, the grounds were bought by a trust to establish Milton Abbey School.

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