Mompesson House.

An 18th-century beauty of a town house located in Cathedral Close, Salisbury. Grade I listed and in the care of the National Trust since the 1970’s, Mompesson House is also keeper of one of Salisbury’s hidden gems.

Things Helen Loves, entrance hall of Mompesson House, National Trust House in Salisbury

At the rear of the house, accessed through the beautiful entrance hall, there is a walled garden and tea rooms. Salisburys very own secret garden.

Mompesson House Gardens

Having passed through the house, you emerge into the walled garden. Surrounded by handsome red brick, pretty corners and blooming borders, you could easily forget that you’re only a stones throw from Salisbury city centre.

The planting is inspired by tradition, so lots of roses and alliums. Poppies, in all the shades from traditional red to vibrant yellow. Greenery too, ferns and potted plants. Oh, and that beautiful ivy dressing the walls and creeping round the windows.

A moment of appreciation for the windows. The frames, actually. White and wooden, surrounded by red brick. Historic windows offering a glimpse into a time capsule of a house or out over beautiful gardens. Just lovely.

My favourite part of the garden, the Pergola. A pretty walkway with benches, perfect for pausing to take in the view of the gardens and the back the house. The front was built to impress but the rear view isn’t too shabby either.

Things Helen Loves, rear view of Mompesson House Salisbury.

The pergola has plenty of green at ground level and climbing plants working their way up the supporting columns. The star of the show, the wisteria. Notoriously slow to flourish, it is gradually growing up and over the pergola. Good things take time.

In the middle of it all, the semi formal lawn. While it’s obviously lovingly tended, there is no sternly worded ‘Keep Off The Grass’ signage here. Quite the opposite. There are traditional lawn games- croquet and quoits- and you’re invited to play.

I discovered that both games are harder than they look, seeming to require a mix of skill and luck. Great fun though.

A Garden Repurposed

Mompesson House Gardens have been designed by the National Trust to honour the history of the house. Blending design and tradition has involved repurposing some original features. An entrance cartouche here, a charming garden grotto there…

Well, we thought the grotto very sweet. At first glance, it looks like old interior panelling repurposed to create a quiet corner. Then I spotted the sign. The charming grotto was once the privy and it emptied into a ditch. That’s a bit less lovely, isn’t it?

Things Helen Loves, sign in garden grotto of Mompesson House gardens in Salisbury. It reads, 'This little grotto was once the privy. It empried into a ditch round the Cathedral'

Mompesson House Garden Tea Rooms

If all of the garden wandering, red brick admiring and lawn games leave you in need of a little something, head to the tea rooms. Originally the brew house, the building was converted into a summer house in the 1950s. Under the care of the National Trust, historic architectural features were preserved and a tea rooms created.

It’s exactly what a National Trust tea rooms should be. Housed in a historic building, with pretty paintings and vintage style crockery. A dresser loaded with cakes, scones and miniature jars of jam. Bunting, pretty table covers and views across the garden. Couldn’t ask for more, really?

There is one more lovely thing though; a visit to the gardens is a budget friendly treat. Let them know on the door you’d like a garden only ticket and the entrance fee is just one pound.

Find all the details for visiting Mompesson House and Gardens here.

If you liked this post, try this one next: A Celebration of Flowers @ Salisbury Cathedral.

Helen x

28 thoughts

  1. This is drop dead gorgeous (apart from the privy) and if I was in the vicinity I’d make a beeline. Sadly I’ve never been to Salisbury.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I haven’t been that much myself Jo, despite living so close. The next posting looms large so I’m trying to squeeze it all in before we move to who-knows-where.

  2. How pretty! And yes, that looks exactly as a National Trust tea room should, and in such a lovely setting 🙂

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It’s a beautiful little place Sarah, can’t believe I’ve lived down here for almost four years and only just made the visit!

  3. It looks gorgeous. Next time I’m in Salisbury I’ll definitely check it out so thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It’s a pleasure to share such a lovely place, I hope you do get to visit one day.

  4. What a beautiful house, tea room and garden, Helen 🙂 I love all the blooming flowers and greenery. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It really was Anabel, I don’t think I have the photography skills to really do it justice.

  5. I went there in 2016. Thanks for bringing the memory back to me.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I’m sure it hasn’t changed much, it’s a timeless place! I’m glad I could bring back some fond memories.

  6. This looks a quite charming afternoon out. Although I gather croquet, played properly, is quite vicious, so maybe not!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I believe so, although the chances of us playing properly are slim to none! Just a friendly tap about on the lawn. Charming is exactly the word for it.

  7. What a beautiful place and the gardens are such a bargain. I like that lawn games can be played .

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      The lawn games are a nice touch, aren’t they? I thought it might be a bit stick to the paths and keep off the grass, but it’s actually a really visitor friendly place.

  8. I loved Mompesson – imagine living in that Cathedral Close as well, WOW! I liked the stories of the owners as well, especially the colourful Barbara Townsend who lived in the house for 96 years 🙂

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I’ve read about Barbara Townsend, but I’m yet to do the house tour. I’ve only ventured as far as the tea room and gardens. Easily swayed by flowers and cake! Must get back to see the house.

  9. Louise Jayne says:

    What a lovely find. You can’t beat a good National Trust tea room!

  10. Beautiful. I love visiting historical buildings, but these gardens seem to have so much to offer too

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Brenda, it’s such a lovely spot tucked away in the heart of Salisbury.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thank you Faith, I had some good company on that day too!

  11. All looks very lovely Helen, especially the gardens, a nice day out

  12. love the table cloth in that tea room! splendid garden and house

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It’s an absolute beauty, the fact it has a nice tearoom is a definite bonus!

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