Open just two days a year from 28-29 May 2017, this is a rare opportunity to explore the historic Mottistone Manor which was bequeathed to the National Trust by John Seeley (2nd Lord Mottistone) in 1963. Admission to the Manor House and Gardens is £10 per adult, £5 per child and £20 for families of 5.
There has been a manor at Mottistone for nearly 1,000 years and it was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Over the centuries it has been owned by prominent Island families and today is tennanted and only open to the public on two days of the year.
Robert Cheke built the East Wing over the Saxon Manor in 1425 and Robert's Grandson Thomas continued the improvements in1618. Unfortunately the back of the manor was engulfed by a mud slide following a severe storm in 1703 and remained buried for more than 200 years.
Charles Seeley purchased the manor in 1861 (the year Prince Albert died) and it passed to his grandson Col Jack Seely MP in 1915. He moved to Mottistone in 1926 and commissioned his architect son John and his business partner Paul Paget to restore the 15th and 16th century manor so it could be lived in. Jack Seely became the first Lord Mottistone in 1933.
In 1947 Mottistone Manor was inherited by John Seely from his father and became the 2nd Lord Mottistone. The gardens and grounds were developed by John Seely's step-brother Sir John and his wife Lady Nicholson who were tennants during the 1960s and 1970s.
On the death of John Seely in 1963, the manor and the 650 acre estate was bequeathed to the National Trust. The gardens are open to the public Sunday to Thursdays throughout the summer.
Getting to Mottistone is easy from Southampton with Red Funnel.
By car - catch the hourly vehicle ferry service from Southampton to East Cowes, the journey will take 55-60 minutes. Upon arrival, head south on Dover Rd following the A3021 and A3054 to Betty Haunt Lane, Calbourne Road, The Middle Road/B3401, continue to B3399 (Postcode PO30 4EA). The journey will take about 32 minutes.
On foot - catch the Red Jet to West Cowes from Terminal 2 in Southampton, On arrival in West Cowes, Southern Vectis operate frequent buses from West Cowes to Newport (service 1). Change at the bus station in Newport for service 12 to Mottistone. Taxis are also available outside the East & West Cowes terminals. For car hire, we recommend Enterprise - they will pick you-up from either terminal if you tell them your arrival time.