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Petworth House

Petworth House was owned during the Middle Ages by the Percy family, Earls of Northumberland. In 1682 the 10th Earl’s only child, Elizabeth, married Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset; her inherited wealth allowed the couple to set about remodelling the house in a French baroque style, probably to designs by William III’s architect, Daniel Marot. Some of the foremost craftsmen of the day decorated the house, including the wood-carver Grinling Gibbons and the plasterer Edward Goudge. John Selde, a local mason, was responsible for much of the internal and external decoration, including the Duke’s crest of ‘keystones with carved wings’ which appear above each window. Petworth was remodelled again after a fire in 1714, when Louis Laguerre was commissioned to paint a magnificent series of murals for the grand staircase. The park, with its serpentine lake, is the work of ‘Capability’ Brown and is arguably his finest remaining landscape.

Visitor Information

Address:
Petworth,
West Sussex,
England,
GU28 0AE

Telephone: 01798 342207

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/petworth-house

Accredited Museum

Petworth House, West Sussex (Accredited Museum)

This collection has 1,854 items online

One of the greatest picture collections in the Trust - includes works by Titian, Bosch, Claude, Ruisdael, Teniers, Van Dyck, Lely, Kneller, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Blake - and a magnificent collection of landscapes by Turner (a friend of the 3rd Earl of Egremont, whose collection of early 19th century British paintings is displayed in the North Gallery); a large collection of sculpture (both antique and 19th century - Flaxman and Westmacott); 17th -19th century furniture including fine Rococo gilt pier-glasses; and Chinese porcelain. The Trust owns only 149 books at Petworth: 148 Jacobean play quartos bound into 18 volumes - not on display - (including works by Shakespeare and Jonson), still in their contemporary livery bindings, and the Petworth Chaucer manuscript, ca. 1410, recently digitised by the John Rylands University Library, Manchester.

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