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Mapperton House

Mapperton was entered in the Domesday Book 1086 as Malperetone. It was then the property of William de Moion, Sheriff of Somerset, who earned 70 shillings from arable land for four ploughs, twenty acres of meadow and pasture, woodlands and a mill.

From then on Mapperton belonged to only four families linked by descent in the female line – the Bretts, Morgans, Brodrepps and Comptons – until it was bought in 1919 by Mrs Ethel Labouchere. Since her death in 1955 it has been the home of the family of the Earl of Sandwich.

The Sandwich collection includes 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.

“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.”

Lord David Cecil, Some Dorset Country Houses, 1955

The Great Chamber at Mapperton House

The Great Chamber

The Hall at Mapperton

The Hall

The Library at Mapperton House
The Drawing Room at Mapperton
The Dining Room at Mapperton House
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