I took our Australian visitors to Mottisfont. The Priory was built in 1201 and pilgrims would visit en route from Salisbury to Winchester to see the forefinger of John the Baptist. It was dissolved in 1536, the finger was lost and Henry VIII gave the estate to his Lord Chamberlain, William, Lord Sandys. The house was extended and renovated over the years by various families and in 1934 was bought by Gilbert and Maud Russell who commissioned Rex Whistler to paint the salon in magnificent trompe l'oeil style, to be the scene of many marvellous parties. The gardens are beautiful with plane trees dating back to 1760, Monet style bridges over the Test and a stunning walled garden with magnificent roses.
Maud gave the house to the National Trust before she died.