The house from an early 20th century postcard
Earlier Houses: The current house has, at its core, an Augustinian priory that was converted to a private house in the 16th century during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
House & Family History: Mottisfont began life as a 12th century Augustinian priory (the "font" in its name comes from the spring the priory was built near); after the Dissolution of the Monasteries the priory was gifted to a favorite of Henry VIII's, Lord Sandys, whose great house, The Vyne, is not far away. Lord Sandys took the king's gift in hand and created a private home out of the medieval priory; this was later altered and enlarged in the 18th century. Lord Sandys received Elizabeth I at Mottisfont on two occasions. The drawing room houses a masterpiece executed for Maud Russell in 1938–39 by Rex Whistler: a trompe l'oeil mural that appears to be Gothic plasterwork. The magnificent artwork was the last major work finished by Whistler before he was killed in World War II. The house and grounds were gifted to the National Trust in 1957 by Maud Russell.
Collections: Mottisfont houses a large collection of early 20th century art donated by Derek Hill to the National Trust to be shown at Mottisfont in memory of his friend Maud Russell.
Garden & Outbuildings: The grounds contain magnificent trees, walled gardens, and the National Collection of Old-Fashioned Roses, and still retains the spring or font from which its name is derived. The estate includes Mottisfont Village and surrounding farmland and woods.
Architect: Norah LindsayDate: 1930s
Architect: Geoffrey Alan JellicoeDate: 1936
Country Life: L, 652, 1921. CXV, 1310,1398, 1954.
Title: National Trust Handbook 2008, The
Author: Peel, Lucy (Editor)
Year Published: 2008
Reference: pg. 140
Publisher: England: The National Trust
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat / Home of: Thomas Sandys, 2nd Baron Sandys, 16th century. The Rev. Sir John Barker Mill, 19th century. Gilbert and Maud Russell, 1934-72.
Current Ownership Type: The National Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
House Open to Public: Yes
Historic Houses Member: No