© Mapperton 2015

"Throughout the house 16th, 17th and 18th centuries meet each other at every turn. Yet - and this is notably characteristic of Mapperton - they do not quarrel. Diversity never means discord. Rather the different ages combine to create an unexpected and richer harmony . Everywhere diverse elements are subdued to achieve a common character, happy and fanciful. Especially did I feel this in the panelled drawing room, with its rococo fireplace and Tudor decorated ceiling and the ancestral portraits gazing sympathetically down from walls lit by light from windows that open north and east to reveal green garden and shifting landscape outside." Lord David Cecil.

In the drawing room, heraldic lions and griffins, representing Bretts and Morgans, appear in the original Tudor ceiling, echoing the stone figures on the roof. The fleur-de-lys motif continues in the pendant ceiling in the great chamber upstairs. Elegant plaster panelling and fireplaces survive from Robert Morgan’s 16th century manor and Richard Brodrepp’s 17th century house.

The Montagu family collection was originally in the family home at Hinchingbrooke near Huntingdon. Included in the collection are pictures by Lely, Van de Velde the Younger, Scott, Reynolds and Hogarth. There are several portraits of Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich, who served under Cromwell and became Charles II's first general-at-sea. He helped his young cousin, Samuel Pepys, to become the Navy's first great administrator and the ship models and naval paintings date mainly from this period.

The 4th Earl of Sandwich, credited with putting roast beef between two slices of bread, was an able diplomat and politician. He was First Lord of the Admiralty in the 1770s and a sponsor of Captain Cook’s voyages. He was responsible for reorganising the navy and improving the ships to the point they withstood France’s aggressive navy under Napoleon.

All Saints Church is of medieval origin, remodelled in 1704, when the windows were restored, and in 1846 when the porch and vestry were added. The south doorway is medieval and the stump of the west tower is 15th century. The carved pulpit and some of the choir stalls are Jacobean; the stained glass dates from mainly the 17th century and is Flemish, with some earlier English heraldic glass. Services are held here during the summer and at major festivals.

The yellow Flemish roundels, some dating back to the 1540s, include biblical scenes, a figure of St Agnes with her lambs, St Ambrose with a beehive and a French female head of 1509. Others contain shields of Dorset and Somerset families and were probably removed from the windows of the manor house.

There is a monument in the choir to Richard Brodrepp and his children. It was commissioned by his wife from Peter Scheemakers, the sculptor of Shakespeare’s memorial in Westminster Abbey.

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