Overview

Orchard Wyndham has been home to the Wyndhams and their ancestors for over 700 years.

Its history is as complex as its architecture, as tricky to unravel. We know that the house was already built in part by 1287, but the history of the place likely goes back much further.

The last major additions were by Sir William Wyndham, Lord Chancellor to Queen Anne, who found a place in Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”. Sir William, a Jacobite, after his arrest and a spell in The Tower, was required by the new King to remain on his estates. And here, in the words of John Gay, he amused himself “with some real improvements and a great many visionary castles”.

The house has gone through past periods of neglect and rediscovery, each generation leaving its mark; and this cycle is responsible for the fascinatingly diverse architectural styles presented to the visitor today.


Opening
Opening

2020

April to August: Selected dates. Visit their website for further details.

Find Us
Find us

Orchard Wyndham is located about a mile from the village of Williton, which in turn is situated about 20 minutes East of Minehead on the A39; 30 minutes West of Bridgewater on the A39; and 30 minutes Northwest of Taunton on the A358.

 

Parking

Car park on site

  • Free

Taxi

Cliffs cabs 01984 631973

Admission
Admission

Historic Houses members visit for free.

£11 for adults

£4 for children under 14 (children under 7 enter for free)

£8 per person for tours

 

Accessibility
Accessibility
  • Accessible toilets
Group Visits
Group Visits

We are delighted to accept larger groups, which should book in advance so we can plan accordingly. Special groups, small clubs and societies are also welcome at other times of the year, by prior arrangement.

Please contact us for details: 07771873777 or email wyndhamest@btconnect.com 

Please check the website for further information, admission times and details for our special events

Visit website

Opening
Opening

2020

April to August: Selected dates. Visit their website for further details.

Find Us
Find us

Orchard Wyndham is located about a mile from the village of Williton, which in turn is situated about 20 minutes East of Minehead on the A39; 30 minutes West of Bridgewater on the A39; and 30 minutes Northwest of Taunton on the A358.

 

Parking

Car park on site

  • Free

Taxi

Cliffs cabs 01984 631973

Admission
Admission

Historic Houses members visit for free.

£11 for adults

£4 for children under 14 (children under 7 enter for free)

£8 per person for tours

 

Accessibility
Accessibility
  • Accessible toilets
Group Visits
Group Visits

We are delighted to accept larger groups, which should book in advance so we can plan accordingly. Special groups, small clubs and societies are also welcome at other times of the year, by prior arrangement.

Please contact us for details: 07771873777 or email wyndhamest@btconnect.com 

Other opening

Kentsford House and Gardens & Aller Garden

Kentsford House and Gardens, a Grade II former manor house on the estate, is also available for visits, as is Aller Farm’s Garden.

Fees and Bookings

Fees:
Orchard Wyndham House and Gardens: £11 for adults; £4 for children under 14 (children under 7 enter for free); and £8 per person for Special Group tours.
Kentsford House and Gardens: £7 per person
Aller Garden: £4 per person
Free entry to members of the Historic Houses Association

Bookings:
Please contact Sylvana Chandler: rdc.smgc@gmail.com
For Kentsford House only, please call Mr and Mrs Dibble: 01984 631307


Orchard Wyndham's history and features

Orchard Wyndham has been home to the Wyndhams and their ancestors for over seven hundred years. Its history is as complex as its architecture, and as tricky to unravel.

A Medieval House

We know from surviving documents that the house was already built in part by 1287, the property of Thomas de Horcherd who lived there at that time. But the history of the place likely goes back much further. During excavations in the 1970s, we discovered the remains of ancient drains formed from hollowed out oak trees rammed together – the remains of much earlier occupation.

During the 14th Century, the family, its name now anglicised to “Orchard”, extended the house with a second range, and joined this to the first with curtain walls to form a central courtyard.

The house passed through the female line to the Sydenham family in the 15th Century, whereupon it was known as Orchard Sydenham. Our Sydenham ancestors built another great hall – the one we still use – and other major rooms around a second courtyard.

In the 1520s, the house again passed through the female line to the Wyndham family from Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk, and became known as Orchard Wyndham. The Wyndhams modernised again, opening up new windows to the outside, and building a very large wing, which has since been destroyed by fire.

Find out more here