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Country Visit to Somerset

30.04.2020, 10:30 A.M.

This event has been postponed due to the present issues with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We will issue a new date as soon as we can.


Please note that members need to buy their own train tickets to Bath train station, where the coach will collect you.



For over 250 years, Marston House was the English home of the Boyle family, the Earls of Cork and Orrery. After the 10th Earl sold the house, it passed through a number of private and institutional hands and into near dereliction, before it was rescued in 1984 by private owners who undertook a programme of restoration over the next 20 years. The current owner has carried out further extensive restoration and bought back areas of the park.

While largely of Georgian appearance, there are many features that are distinctly Victorian. The overall effect today is stunning, in particular, the grand entrance hall and magnificent staircase rising through three storeys.


The earliest part of Mells Manor dates from 1460s on the site of a medieval monastic manor house. The Horner family bought the house in 1543 and over the years enlarged it into a house of Elizabethan and Jacobean proportions. It then passed through various stages of restoration and neglect until 1902 when it was bought by Sir John Horner. A frequent guest at the time, Sir Edwin Lutyens provided designs for the garden, the loggia and the music room.

Many illustrious family members of the house include Prime Minister Herbert Asquith who accepted a peerage in 1925. His marriage to Katherine Horner eventually brought Mells Manor into the Asquith family.

The well known nursery rhyme refers to the wicked Steward of Glastonbury, Jack Horner, who ‘put in his thumb and pulled out a plum’ – the fair manor of Mells, from the Dissolution pie. This is pure Victorian fancy as the original title deed is still held by the family and confirms the manor was bought for a substantial sum.


Please meet at Bath train station. Members coming by train will need to purchase tickets for the following journeys:

  • OUTWARD: 9.02am depart London Paddington, arriving Bath at 10.24
  • RETURN: 5.13pm depart Bath train station, arriving London Paddington at 18.39

10.30am Board private coach at Bath station for travel throughout the day. We will have a two-course lunch, with drinks purchased by members separately, at The Talbot Inn in Mells.

For further information, please contact the organiser: Tina Graham:


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