Christmas reindeer round-up at Montacute House

16 Nov 2023

Christmas reindeer round-up at Montacute House 

This year Father Christmas’ four-legged helpers are being celebrated at the National Trust’s Montacute House with a Christmas reindeer round-up over the festive season. Hidden around the house and garden, visitors can discover nine specially designed reindeer – you can have a boogie with Dancer or maybe fall in love with Cupid. 

Each reindeer is unique, having been designed or created from various materials by artists, community groups, specialist businesses, and the team at Montacute House. 

Zac Newham is a Salisbury based artist inspired by the intricacies and mysteries of the natural surroundings. He has used wood and branches gathered from the estate to construct the loud and majestic Donner. He said, ‘It was such a pleasure to make Donner from the wide array of ancient timber from the parkland at Montacute House’. 

George Hider, a local artist based in Merriot, builds intricate sculptures of animals from discarded scrap metal, which he patiently welds together to create life-like and life-sized works of art. He has kindly lent one of his creatures, who will be playing the part of the strong and brave Vixen in the reindeer round-up. 

It was a team of five Level 2 Art & Design students from Yeovil College who took on the biggest challenge of building the most important reindeer – Rudloph. Tasked with using recycled materials, discussions started with options and availability. Whilst the internal structure is made from willow, they decided that textiles and fabrics would be unusual as they are less widely used for these types of creations.   

For decoration, stars and the letter ‘R’ (for Rudolph) were seen as good shapes to use. Fabric shapes were cut with templates and then attached to the frame. One of the students, Charlie Fearon, said of the process ‘I like the fact me and my friends can create something both festive and environmentally friendly using recycled fabrics and then display it to the wider community.’ 

Grahame Meaden, Senior Visitor Experience Officer at Montacute House, said, ‘We are thrilled to have worked with such creative individuals and groups to produce a value added, merry Christmas experience here at Montacute House. Each reindeer has a different style – Dancer is partying, Blitzen is electric, and Comet shines, but all bring Christmas cheer - so don your hats, coats, and scarves to discover some reindeer in the house and some on the hoof.’ 

He continues, ‘Obviously, we will be decorating for Christmas too. You’ll see wreaths and garlands here, there, and everywhere. The ground floor of the house will be looking beautifully festive with a tree twinkling in lights and tables ready for glorious Christmas feasts. There is also fun to be had down under cover at the Stables with festive games - including reindeer themed ones – and a photo station for yuletide family pictures.’ 

You can search for the reindeer at Montacute House daily between 25 November 2023 and 1 January 2024 (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).  

If anyone is looking for even more Christmas magic, head over to nearby Barrington Court where Mrs Christmas is trying to get her baking done. She has the ingredients but can’t find her cooker cutters as those naughty elves have hidden them around the grounds. You can join the search to help her find them, and then pop over to the Farm Buildings to make decorations or listen to a festive yarn. 

Booking isn’t necessary, normal admission applies, and parking is free. All the information, along with opening and event times can be found at and 

Christmas reindeer round-up at Montacute House
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