A Visit to Petworth House

Petwork House, located in Petworth, West Sussex, has been home to the descendants of Earls of Northumberland, Dukes of Somerset and Earls of Egremont for 900 years.  These aristocrats assembled an extraordinary amount of art—works by Anthony van Dyck, Peter Lely, Grinling Gibbons, Louis Laguerre, JMW Turner, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Flaxman and others—and it’s all on display. With painted ceilings and illuminated painted murals lining the Grand Staircase (Laguerre even painted the underside of the stairs), this National Trust property is an impressive art gallery. But that’s not all. With acres of pleasure gardens and a deer park, this treasure is a must-see.


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We entered the complex from the servants’ entrance, a door that looks out toward St. Mary’s the Virgin Church and is just a stone’s throw from the school house.

The servants’ quarters and kitchens make up an entire building across the courtyard from the actual house. Rows and rows of tulips and other flowers decorate the space between the buildings.


Once inside the main house, it’s apparent this is more of an art gallery. Paintings line the walls nearly to the ceiling, and marble statues are everywhere.

Those paintings just above are on the ceiling and the underside of the stairs.

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Gues who?

Among all the artwork are some beautiful furnishings as well as a chapel.

One of the most impressive pieces in this house is the original Molyneux Globe. Made in 1592, it’s the earliest terrestrial English globe in existence.

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Outside the buildings are the impressive grounds. This time of year, the trees are in flower, tulips are everywhere, blue bells have bloomed, and everything else is green. The air is fragrant with the scent of apple blossoms.

And finally, there are the follies. They’re a bit of a hike on a crushed granite path, but well worth the walk. We had to hurry, too, as we had one more stop to make down in Arundel. More about that in the next post.


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