Our work

Going Green for Victory!

Meeting our energy requirements from renewable sources

Meeting our energy requirements from renewable sources

Saving energy at Upton

We are currently installing a renewable biomass heating system at Upton. It will burn wood pellets and supply the same amount of heat as required by eleven average homes. As well as reducing our carbon dioxide emissions, we will be able to remove four oil boilers and tanks reducing the risk of oil pollution on site. Even better; the biomass will save Upton around £6000 on fuel bills every year – money which can then be used to look after this special place! 

Caring for the garden

The gardeners at Upton House answer visitors queries

Upton's 12 acres require the attention of a handful of permanent gardeners and dozens of volunteer helpers.

Although the imprints of previous owners over the centuries remain evident, the gardens are being returned to their 1930s heyday with Dig for Victory displays included. An orchard, herbaceous borders, vegetable garden, bog garden, wild areas and extensive grassed areas all pose a variety of challenges, but helping visitors with their queries is important too.

The heady heights of our Picture Gallery roof

The new rooflight improves both illumination and protection

After a thirteen month project, the precious contents of the Picture Gallery are now protected from ultra violet light and infrared radiation by high-tech roof glazing. Just as important, it is also weatherproof, unlike its predecessor.

The replaced roof light was designed for the squash court, which was the original purpose of this room. However, the original 1930s appearance was preserved, so to many eyes nothing will have changed - except for the better.

Caring for our collection

See conservation in action

See conservation in action

Each year Upton House receives more than 100,000 visitors.

Lord Bearsted, who left the house to the National Trust, wanted people to experience Upton as he did; as a home. This means we don’t have any ropes or barriers to stop you from getting up close and really enjoying the objects within it. As you can imagine this presents quite a challenge for our conservation team!


Previous exhibitions

From Lowry to Piper:20th century art

 © John Piper estate

Opening in 2013, this exhibition showed work by eight British artists from the 1930s to the 1950s - L.S. Lowry, Prunella Clough, John Armstrong, Duncan Grant, Ivon Hitchens, Keith Vaughan, William Scott and John Piper. Upton's Viscount Bearsted became involved with them as chairman of London's Whitechapel Gallery.


Glenn Brown

Copywright image of The Shallow End for Glenn Brown Curator Event Upton © Glenn Brown

From late 2012 into 2013 Glenn Brown, Turner prize nominated British contemporary artist, displayed various works at Upton House. It was the first art exhibition to be held in the new Squash Gallery.


Upton's Backs to the Future

Upton Backs to the Future exhibition displays the hidden side of paintings © Mike Perry

In early 2014 Upton gave visitors a rare view into a world normally seen only by owners of art, curators and galleries. The back of a painting is an insight into its pulse.


Sigrid Holmwood

Touch, painted by Sigrid Holmwood for Upton House © Sigrid Holmwood

As part of its Year of Art celebrations in 2012 Upton commissioned contemporary artist, Sigrid Holmwood, for two new works inspired by the collection of Old Masters on display in the house.

Shell and the Art of Advertising

Uptons Shell exhibition echoes its 1930s links with the oil company © Royal Dutch Shell  plc

The Shell oil company was founded by the father of Upton's former owner, Viscount Bearsted II. Under the chairmanship of Lord Bearsted in the 1930s Shell engaged contemporary artists such as Graham Sutherland and John Piper to create some of the most distinctive advertising material of the century.