A grate chance to see UK’s biggest fireplace

PUBLISHED: 11:30 07 May 2015

Shute Barton's fireplace thought to be the biggest in Britain

Shute Barton's fireplace thought to be the biggest in Britain

Archant

The magnificent building of battlements and towers, near Axminster, is open to visitors on four weekends of the year.

The National Trust is looking for new volunteers to join its team at Shute Barton, a medieval house which boasts Britain’s largest fireplace.

The magnificent building of battlements and towers, near Axminster, is open to visitors on four weekends of the year and is also available to hire all year round for holidays.

Spanning some 700 years, the history of Shute Barton gives insights into medieval family life and the War of the Roses - and it has family connections to the Tudors.

The great kitchen contains what is believed to be the largest fireplace in the UK - so big that two oxen could be roasted at once.

National Trust volunteer Wendy Hall, from Seaton, who trains the new tour guides, said: “The guides work as a team, supporting each other and helping new volunteers to enjoy the experience. We tell the stories of the strong women who lived here, Cecily Bonville and Elizabeth Pole. Cecily married at 16 and had two husbands and 15 children. Her great-granddaughter was Lady Jane Grey.”

Shute Barton is open to visitors on May 16/17, June 20/21, September 19/20, and October 17/18 from 10.30am to 3.45pm.

Guided tours last 45 minutes.

Anyone interested in the volunteering opportunities should call National Trust ranger Ruby Cole on 01297 680507 or email her at ruby.cole@nationaltrust.org.uk for more information about the role.


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