The plague wiped out most of the village of Mapperton, situated two miles from Beaminster, not to be confused with a hamlet of the same name at Almer, but it still has one of the stateliest homes in the county.
Mapperton House is a showpiece retained by one family, through the female line, for many generations. Beech trees lead to this grand house with balustraded parapet and dormer windows in the roof, built in the warm grey-yellow stone of which much is seen in west Dorset.
It was built in the reign of Henry VIII by Robert and Mary Morgan. Robert was one of a select company of men who were allowed to wear their hats in the royal presence, 'In consideration of diverse infirmities which he hath in his head.'. Robert later had the following inscription placed in the hall.
What they spent,
that they lent;
The gardens are in part the creation of Mrs. Ethel Labouchere from 1926 onwards, and, more recently, Victor Montagu, who bought Mapperton after her death in 1956. A classical Orangery built in 1966 stands at the head of the valley, and looks down the length of the Italianate gardens laid out by Mrs. Labouchere in memory of her husband. The formal gardens fall in descending levels down the valley, the ponds giving way to a grassy walk edged with fine trees that gradually fades away into the Dorset countryside. The gardens are best in spring, particularly the woodland areas.