House

Outstanding collection of paintings

Something old, something new © Andreas von Einsiedel

Something old, something new

Art lovers will be in heaven in the Saloon, home to one of the country’s finest collection of paintings. Admire works from famous artists such as Jan Brueghel, Rubens and Sir Anthony Van Dyck.

Treasures from ancient Egypt

Discover the largest private collection of Egyptian artefacts in the UK © Derrick E. Witty

Discover the largest private collection of Egyptian artefacts in the UK

Step back thousands of years in time and discover the largest private hoard of Egyptian relics in the UK. Look out for bronze cats, cockerels, scarab beetles and 25 ‘stelae’ (tomb inscriptions) from Deir el-Medina – all mementoes of William Bankes’ incredible journey through Egypt in 1818.

A taste of Italy

The marble staircase at Kingston Lacy. © James Mortimer

The marble staircase at Kingston Lacy.

With its marble floors and vaulted ceiling, stepping into the Loggia is like being whisked away to a flamboyant Italian palace. Gaze out over the south lawn or admire the statues of King Charles 1st and the family’s ancestor ‘Brave Dame Mary’ Bankes who fiercely defended Corfe Castle against a roundhead siege.

A pink delight

Don't miss the garish pink meal laid out on the dining room table © Andreas von Einsiedel

Don't miss the garish pink meal laid out on the dining room table

Don’t miss the garish and flamboyant 'carnation dinner', an elaborate meal in vivid shades of pink. The dinning room is also home to the unfinished painting of the 'Judgement of Solomon', one of the earliest examples of European perspective in paintings.

Restored to new

Be amazed by the vibrancy and diversity of each room © Rowan Isaac

Be amazed by the vibrancy and diversity of each room

Spot the keys over the mantelpiece from Corfe Castle, the old home of the Bankes family, destroyed in the flames of war. Look up for the beautiful ceiling fresco, now restored to pride of place after a 20 year absence, thanks to generous public donations - the first time a detached fresco has ever been restored.

A tented bedroom

Imagine life as a child in these unusual tented rooms © Andreas von Einsiedel

Imagine life as a child in these unusual tented rooms

Upstairs you can see one of the last surviving ‘tent rooms’ in Europe, painted to resemble the military campaign tents that Napoleon lived in as he waged his wars across Europe.

Painting ‘swapsie’

For this season Kingston Lacy will house ‘Homage to Velazquez’ by Luca Giordano, part of a mutual series of loans with the National Gallery, London.

Our painting ‘Judgement of Solomon’ by Sebastiano del Piombo has been sent to the National Gallery to form part of their exhibition titled ‘Building the picture: Architecture in Renaissance paintings’.

Guided tours

Enjoy a guided tour of Kingston Lacy on a Monday

Enjoy a guided tour of Kingston Lacy on a Monday

Discover the history and intrigue of the Bankes family and their magnificent collections with our knowledgeable volunteers.

Enjoy a guided tour of the state rooms every Monday (excluding Bank Holidays). Tours begin at 11am and run every 20 minutes with the last tour at 3.40pm. Normal admission applies.

A virtual tour

What treasures will you see?

What treasures will you see?

Don’t miss our interactive digital tour of Kingston Lacy in the Egyptian Room. Take control of the camera to explore all the nooks and crannies of the house and see what each room has to offer.

Our treasures

There’s plenty to see at Kingston Lacy, from our collection of Egyptian artefacts to our colourful paintings. Find out more about our treasures by visiting our collections website.

Picture list

Kingston Lacy is home to one of the finest private collections of paintings in Britain with work by Rubens, Van Dyck, Tintoretto, Titian and Brueghel.

Please note: the ‘Judgement of Solomon’ painting by Sebastiano del Piombo will be on loan to the National Gallery, London until 21 September. 'Maria Grimaldi' painting by Rubens will be on loan to the Palais de Beaux-Arts, Brussels from 9 September.

History of Kingston Lacy and the Bankes family

Lady Bankes defended the castle in two Civil War seiges

Lady Bankes defended the castle in two Civil War seiges

Discover the history of Kingston Lacy and its owners, the flamboyant Bankes family who owned vast swathes of Dorset for over 400 years. From fighting the forces of Oliver Cromwell, to gathering one of the world’s largest collections of ancient Egyptian artefacts, the Bankes have a colourful past.

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