Follow the clues through the gardens on our Easter Monday Trail for children – with a prize at the end! 11am to 3pm on Easter Monday 17 April. Children’s Trail entry £3. Normal garden entry applies for adults.
Diaries by the 1st Earl of Sandwich and his cousin Samuel Pepys, marking an historic royal moment, will be a highlight for visitors to Mapperton House, this summer.
The day King Charles II boarded a ship on the coast of Holland to return from exile on 23 May 1660 was chronicled by both men, who were in attendance on the Charles, formerly the Naseby.
The then Admiral Edward Montagu was head of the fleet and captained the ship on the King’s triumphal return to English soil after nine years.
Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist, and Montagu’s younger cousin, was a clerk in the Navy Office at the time and later became Secretary to the Navy, responsible for preparing the fleet for the Dutch Wars.
Later given the title of Earl of Sandwich as recognition for his part in restoring Charles to the throne, Edward Montagu’s handwritten journal gives a fascinating picture of a hugely important day in the history of the English monarchy.
Pepys’ writings include lively and often amusing accounts direct from the King on how his dishevelled state meant he was often mistaken for a “rogue’ during his flight from Cromwell’s forces and how he at one point was forced to drink alcohol to prove he wasn’t a Roundhead.
The Earl of Sandwich says: ”Samuel Pepys captures everyone’s imagination and he seems the perfect vehicle to explain what was happening in the 17th century, especially when the King came back to claim the throne.
“The soon-to-be 1st Earl was given the task of bringing his Majesty home on board his ship, the newly renamed ‘Charles’.
“We hope our visitors will enjoy this exhibit and we are very lucky to have our team of volunteer guides on hand to help us interpret these wonderful stories.”
Mapperton House is open for guided tours from 2 April 2017.
Mapperton House and Gardens is delighted to announce a new partnership with an award-winning West Dorset restaurant.
Cass Titcombe and Louise Chidgey of Brassica restaurant in nearby Beaminster will take over the management of Mapperton’s café, The Sawmill, from the beginning of April.
Brassica is the only restaurant in Dorset to appear in The Sunday Times list of the UK’s Top 100 Restaurants in 2017.
Viscount Hinchingbrooke, who runs Mapperton, the family home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, said: “Over just a few short years Cass and Louise have developed an outstanding reputation at Brassica for delicious food, and this has now been recognised by The Sunday Times in their Top 100 listing.
“We are really pleased that they are now partnering with us at Mapperton, and customers at The Sawmill can look forward to scrumptious lunches and teas.”
Brassica Chef-Director Cass Titcombe said: “We are delighted to be taking over the The Sawmill at Mapperton at a very exciting time.
“We are looking forward to offering visitors homemade cakes, cream teas, a range of light lunch dishes and of course, some memorable sandwiches, all with some of Brassica’s signature touches!”
Brassica Director Louise Chidgey added: “We have given The Sawmill a small revamp, and put in some new lighting, while retaining its friendly feel.
“We will also be exhibiting artwork from the Room at the End gallery at Little Toller Books at Toller Fratrum, near Dorchester, which we hope our customers will enjoy looking at while they eat.”
The Sawmill will open on Sunday 2 April until the end of October, every day except Saturdays, from 11am to 5pm.
Mapperton Gardens open on 1 March and the house opens for guided tours from 2 April.
The Three Inch Fools are a five-strong troupe of actors with all manner of musical instruments, travelling with set, props, costumes and camping gear, performing a highly imaginative and vibrantly musical take on Shakespeare’s plays.
They are performing in the grounds at Mapperton at 2.30pm on Sunday 20 August 2017. Tickets are £15 for adults; £12 for concessions (senior citizens and under-18s), obtainable from the Mapperton Estate office on 01308 862645, or on the gate.
Work has begun on the installation of a new biomass energy system at Mapperton.
The 250 kilowatt boiler will provide hot water and heating for Mapperton House, The Sawmill restaurant and nearby properties.
Wood from the estate will be harvested and chipped to fuel the boiler as part of Mapperton’s commitment to using sustainable energy sources.
The installation is being carried out by the 5D Group, based in Plymouth, with ground work by Wedgewood Groundworks from Tiverton.
Biomass is the fourth largest energy source in the world after oil, coal and gas. It involves the production of renewable energy using sustainably managed plant and wood fuels primarily in chip, log or pellet form.
Snowdrops – they’re only tiny, but here at Mapperton we love them because they are one of the first signs of spring!
We want to share them on our two popular Snowdrop Sundays on 5 and 12 February 2017.
The humble Galanthus nivalis (that’s ancient Greek and Latin for milk-white flower of snow) is among the first of the flowers to show their face.
Come to the Gardens and see the carpet of white spreading under the beech trees and alongside the paths in the spring garden.
The daffodils should be on their way too and velvety buds are appearing on the trees.
Snowdrop Sundays – two chances to visit
The Gardens will be open from 11am to 4pm on each of the Snowdrop Sundays.
Admission is £4.50 for adults and under-16s can come in for free. Proceeds will support the National Gardens Scheme and Perennial, the gardeners’ charity.
Thanks to the volunteers from the National Gardens Scheme locally, tea, coffee and a wonderful array of cakes will be available in the cosy Sawmill Café.
Don’t miss the chance to see the back of winter and join us soon.
“All the snow will melt; the cold winds will be driven away; we shall rule; all will become green, and then you will have companions, syringas, laburnums, and roses; but you are the first, so graceful, so delicate!”
Extract from The Snowdrop, by Hans Christian Andersen.
Crowds of green-fingered gardeners made the recent charity Garden Fair at Mapperton House the most successful autumn fair yet.
Almost 1,000 plant fans attended the Fair on 18 September and a share of the proceeds will go to Oxfam.
More than 25 specialist nurseries took part alongside craft, garden gift and food stands.
Lady Sandwich said: “ We were delighted that so many people took advantage of a perfect day and came to the Fair, which was our most successful autumn sale so far.
“Over the years many charities, both local and national, have benefited from the spring and autumn fairs.
“People who came to the Fair stayed on to take a walk around the gardens gardens or joined a guided tour of the house and enjoyed refreshments in the Sawmill Café. We are very much looking forward to the next plant fair in April.”
Don’t forget that Mapperton House and Gardens are open to the public until the end of October. We look forward to seeing you.
Mapperton House is recruiting more volunteer guides.
Due to a significant increase in visitor numbers this year, extra members of the team are needed to show people round our beautiful Jacobean manor house, family home of the Earl of Sandwich.
Maggie Wattling, of South Perrott, has been taking tour groups round the house since the start of the season at Easter.
She says it is exciting and enjoyable and would appeal to anyone who loves meeting and talking to people.
“My husband and I had moved to Dorset from France last October. I am retired, but I thought I would like a little job,” says Maggie.
“Then I met a local lady who had rented a house on the Mapperton estate and she told me that Lord Sandwich was looking for people to be volunteers at the house.
“Lord Sandwich took me round to start with. He was so kind and he is a fund of stories.
“Being a guide here is all about people. I like to talk to and meet people and you meet so many here – different nationalities and visitors from all over Britain.
“We all have a set of notes and then we tell the tale in the way it works for us.
“I enjoy it very much and people are so nice. You need to be able to look somebody in the eye and speak to them, and perhaps put on a bit of a performance!”
Lord Sandwich says that ideally guides would have an interest in English history and heritage.
“Above all, they need patience and understanding of people’s needs, including the young, elderly and disabled. People who prefer not to be guides are valuable as stewards and as back-up for other volunteers,” he adds.
Volunteers are entitled to travel expenses and light refreshments in the Sawmill Café for each visit.
Anyone interested should contact the Estate Office on 01308 862645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pack a picnic and join us here in the garden at Mapperton to enjoy the open-air experience of one of Shakespeare’s greatest and most timeless comedies.
Much Ado About Nothing, will be performed on Saturday and Sunday, 16 and 17 July.
Touring from the University of Durham, the Castle Theatre Company presents the tale of two pairs of feuding lovers, complete with gossip, deception and the never-ending search for love.
After declaring their love for each other, Hero and Claudio pass the time by attempting to convince the stubborn Beatrice and outspoken Benedick to fall for each other.
But, after the villainous Don John’s slanders about Hero’s fidelity, Beatrice and Benedict are forced to reconcile to fix the situation.
After Don John’s deception has been exposed, along with all the unfounded accusations, the whole farce turns out to be “much ado about nothing!’
For more than 30 years, Castle Theatre Company has been running its annual summer Shakespeare tour around the south of England.
Returning to the stunning setting at Mapperton, this year’s Shakespeare in the Garden performance of classic Shakespeare comedy promises an afternoon or an evening of light-hearted family entertainment.
Performance times are on Saturday 16 July at 6.30pm and Sunday 17 July at 2.30pm. Picnic from 5pm on the Saturday and from 12.30pm on the Sunday.
Tickets are £15 for adults; £12 for concessions (senior citizens and under-18s), obtainable from the Beaminter Festival Box Office 01308 862943, email@example.com until 2 July and then from the Mapperton Estate office on 01308 862645, or on the gate.
Children will love following our Easter Trail around the Gardens on Easter Monday. 11am to 3pm. £3 per child. See you then! pic.twitter.com/UioyXTvVmL