Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire MK45 4HR Ampthill Park House, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, MK45 2HF
For over 600 years the Wrest estate was home to one of the leading aristocratic families in the country, the de Greys, with each generation leaving its mark on the estate. Thomas, 2nd Earl de Grey (1781–1859) designed the current house at Wrest Park in the 1830s, set in an outstanding restored garden landscape originating in the seventeenth century. The house itself is a near unique example of nineteenth-century English architecture following the style of an eighteenth-century French chateau. The Earl carefully furnished its interiors scouring auction houses and dealers to find the perfect pieces to complement the eighteenth-century French style of the house.
The Archaeological Collections Store at Wrest Park houses over 153,000 historical artefacts spanning over 2,000 years of England’s history and adds up to a third of English Heritage’s total stored collection. Our visit will also include a tour to the store in order to examine a selection of furniture.
After lunch we visit Ampthill Park House with Sir Timothy Clifford. In 1661, Charles II handed the Great Park portion of the manor including the sixteenth century Great lodge to John Ashburnham and extensive rebuilding of ‘Great Park House’ was done from 1686. The house was then altered and redecorated in 1769-72 for the 2nd Earl and Countess of Upper Ossory by Sir William Chambers and the grounds landscaped by Capability Brown. In 1979, the mansion was rescued from dereliction and divided into four large homes.
COST: £50 (includes Lunch and tea/coffee)
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