A brief history
Originally a Viking settlement and burial ground, Milntown House has boasted many tenants and visitors throughout its fascinating history, not least the Christian family, who made it home from as early as the 16th century. Following the death of William Bell Christian in 1886, the house was run first as a private school by his widow, Vio, and their two daughters, Rita and May; and then as a hotel. It reverted to being a family home when Charles Peel Yates (of Yates’ Wine Lodges) bought it in 1947.
You can learn more about the colourful residents and amazing history of Milntown House with the Trust’s fabulous house tours. Tours are held throughout the year on Wednesdays as well as Saturdays throughout spring and summer. Tours are £7per person and last approximately 1hr 15mins. Booking is highly recommended, as places are limited.
There are 15 acres of beautiful borders and wonderful woodland in this historical setting for garden lovers to explore. With Milntown’s sheltered micro-climate there are many truly spectacular and unusual specimens which produce a dazzling display of blooms from early spring right through to summer. The gardens are a big hit with young children as well who love feeding the pet ducks at the millpond and delight in discovering all the hidden fairytale-like sculptures. And there are more family adventures to be had amongst the borders and trees with Milntown’s special events, held throughout the year.
The Cars & Motorcyles
Sir Clive had a life long interest in motor sport and raced at Brooklands during the years following the Second World War. He also collected vintage and sports cars including a 1900 New Orleans, which he entered several times in the London to Brighton Run. Both Sir Clive and Bob Thomas developed a keen interest in the motoracing scene on the Isle of Man and today you can visit their fine collection of vintage cars and motorcycles with entry to the gardens.
Set in a purpose built conservatory, the café has wonderful views of both the Walled Garden and the famous Winchester gates. The menu features a wide range of delicious home cooked seasonal dishes, light lunches, cakes and teas. It is the ideal place for morning coffee, a hearty lunch after a garden visit, or a relaxing afternoon tea.
The kitchen garden now grows a wide range of vegetables, herbs and flowers and any of these are harvested for use in the cafe. Milntown are also members of Garden Organic and the gardens are managed in a sustainable way.