Visit: Melbury House and Wolfeton House, Dorset
Wolfeton House has been the seat of several notable Dorset families. Situated in the water meadows north-west of Dorcester an close to Charminster village, the old manor house dates from several periods. The oldest surviving parts of the early-Tudor house, which date from the late 15th and early 16th centuries when it was largely rebuilt by the then owner Sir Thomas Trenchard, are the eastern end of the main house and the twin-towered gatehouse. The interior contains fine plasterwork and panelling, partly dating from 1580.
Melbury House in Melbury Sampford near Evershot has been the seat of the Strangways family ad their descendants since the estate was sold in 1500 by William Bruning to Henry Strangways. The present house was built after 1546. It was altered and extended in 1692 and further modelled in the 19th century, including a neo-Tudor extension designed by Anthony Salvin which contains the library. When Horace Walpole visited Melbury in the 18th century, he admired the paintings and tapestries in "apartments most richly and abundantly furnished".