Stately splendour

on 14 May 2019.

Summer is the time for swanking around stately homes and pretending that you live there. Wiltshire has a world-class collection of magnificent gardens and stately homes, and within striking distance of Marlborough in the village of Calne is the elegant and statuesque Bowood House. Set like a jewel in 100 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds designed by ‘Capability’ Brown, Bowood is a harmoniously flowing mix of woodland and lawns which sweep down onto a lake overlooked by formal terraces. It is the stuff of BBC costume dramas as well as dreams.

Bowood was first purchased by 1st Earl of Shelburne in 1754 and since then has seen huge changes. The Large House fell into disrepair after the second World War and was demolished to make way for the beautiful Orangery

designed by renowned architect Robert Adam. In the 1970s the house and grounds were opened to the public and derelict stables and grooms’ quarters were converted into exhibition rooms, a restaurant and shop. Today over half of the house is open to visitors, with the family living in the remainder. With an adventure playground for younger visitors set in the woods and other child friendly activities, Bowood has broad appeal.

Throughout the 2017 season there is the Priestley & Patronage exhibition in the magnificent Orangery, featuring paintings and original documents from the family’s collections. In particular, visitors to Bowood can see a portrait of the 3rd Marquis of Lansdowne by Sir Thomas Lawrence, original letters and accounts documenting the family’s dealings with luminaries such as Robert Adam, ‘Capability’ Brown, Thomas Chippendale, Josiah Wedgwood and George Frederic Watts, as well as Joseph Priestley. Entry to view the exhibition is included within the normal admission to Bowood House & Gardens.

Tickets prices: Adults £12.50, Children £9.50, Family Ticket (2 adults 2 children or 1 adult 3 children) £37.50. For enquiries call 01249 812102 or go to bowood.org to book online or for further information. Bowood House and Gardens, Derry Hill, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 0LZ.

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