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Mottisfont

Originally a Priory, Mottisfont was converted into a house by William Sandys, Henry VIII’s Lord Chamberlain, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The building was extensively altered in the 1740s by an unidentified architect for Sir Richard Mill; it was sold in 1934 to a great-grandson of the 6th Duke of Bedford, Gilbert Russell, who – with his wife Maud – rearranged the interior, and commissioned a series of trompe-l’oeil murals from Rex Whistler in 1938-9. Whistler’s murals imitate Gothic plasterwork and can be seen in the drawing room. There is also a groin-vaulted medieval cellarium.

Visitor Information

Address:
near Romsey,
Hampshire,
England,
SO51 0LP

Telephone: 01794 340757

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont

Accredited Museum

Mottisfont, Hampshire (Accredited Museum)

This collection has 3,435 items online

The collection at Mottisfont Abbey shows the taste and style of Maud Russell (1891–1982), an important 20th-century patron of the arts and collector of contemporary art. After purchasing Mottisfont in 1934, Russell re-decorated the house, introducing new chimney pieces and marbling much of the historic panelling. These schemes still survive in most of the rooms, along with many of the historic fittings. Russell's role as a patron is reflected in the Whistler Room, decorated with trompe l’oeil murals displaying the interests and history of the Russell family. In later life, after the death of her husband Gilbert, she was in a relationship with the muralist Boris Anrep. Two of Anrep's works are displayed at Mottisfont and reflect the property’s religious origins. Russell's patronage also included encouraging and supporting the artist Derek Hill (1916–2000) who was born nearby in Southampton. Hill donated his important collection of predominantly 20th-century art for display at Mottisfont.

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