Search for the name, locality, period or a feature of a locality. You'll then be taken to a map showing results.

Mottistone Manor


A 20th century terraced garden surrounding a house of Elizabethan origin.

Location, Area, Boundaries, Landform and Setting

Mottistone Manor lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, situated beneath Mottistone Down. Brook lies to the west and Brighstone to the east. Mottistone parish church (Listed Grade I) lies to the south-west. There is a hollow way to the west leading to "The Longstone" (the remains of a Neolithic burial mound).

Gardens and Pleasure Grounds

Mottistone Manor Garden in its present form is a relatively recent creation, laid out by Lady Nicholson from the 1970s. The garden is situated in a south-east facing valley and on the slopes of the valley to the north of the house. Beyond the garden to the north-east lies the greensand heathland of Mottistone Common.

The house and garden are approached through the restored 17th century barn. Mottistone Manor House and Garden are the property of the National Trust and the garden is open to the public. It was redesigned by the National Trust Head Gardener in about 2005.


  • Individual trees are shown to the north (Ordnance Survey (OS) 1866).

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts


01983 741302

Access contact details

Open March-October, 11am to 5pm. Not Fridays or Saturdays. Visit the National Trust website for more detailed information about opening times.

Contact: 01 983 741302


The National Trust


The following details of the history of Mottistone Manor were supplied by the Isle of Wight Gardens Trust, with references used by them.

16th - 18th Century

The manor house was built by the Cheke family in the 16th and early 17th century. It was owned by the Dillington family in the 17th and early 18th century.

19th Century

In 1861 the estate was bought by Charles Seely of Brook House.

20th Century

In 1926 General Jack Seely (later 1st Lord Mottistone) left Brook House to live at Mottistone Manor which was restored under the direction of his son John, a partner in the architectural firm of Seely & Paget (Winter 1984. Mottistone Manor Guide Bk. n.d.).

The gardens were described (Paterson 1978, Desmond 1988). There was a walled semi-circular forecourt to the south - now a lawn (Site visit F. Basford 23.11.95).

The 1930s garden building - 'The Shack' - was originally a summerhouse but was converted by John Seely for use as a retreat and later as an office for his architectural practice (National Trust Southern News: Spring/Summer 1998). Originally sited at Freshwater Bay Golf Club, 'The Shack' was moved to the Old Parsonage, Mottistone, in the 1950s and transferred to the manor a decade later (I.W. County Press 29/5/1998).

The barn (Listed Grade II) dates to the early 17th century and is of stone rubble with ashlar quoins. It was skilfully altered by Seely after 1925 to provide the main approach to the house through a central entrance passage (Lloyd and Pevsner 2006, 16).

‘Mottistone Manor House and the Dower House (Listed Grade II*)'. The house is of 16th and early 17th century date. An article on the restoration of the house was published in Country Life.

Features & Designations


  • Garden Terrace
  • Herbaceous Border
  • valley
  • Description: A south-east facing valley.
  • Manor House, Gardens
  • Description: Mottistone Manor Garden in its present form is a relatively recent creation.
  • heathland
  • Description: Greensand heathland of Mottistone Common.
  • Church (featured building)
  • Description: Mottistone parish church (Listed Grade I).
  • Burial
  • Description: The Longstone" (the remains of a Neolithic burial mound).
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential



Open to the public


Civil Parish