House

Enjoy a 1930s house party

This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.

Lord Bearsted, the collector

Upton’s Long Gallery created by Viscount Bearsted

Upton’s Long Gallery created by Viscount Bearsted

Lord Bearsted acquired Upton House in 1927 partly because of its location in good hunting country, but also because he was keen to see his expanding collection of art accommodated under one roof.

Almost two decades later the National Trust accepted the gift of Upton House and Gardens on the strength of the collections of paintings and porcelain. It was, and is, one of the finest private art collections in England. 

Lord Bearsted organised his paintings by schools throughout the house. Dutch paintings in the Long Gallery, Stubbs in the Dining Room and the Old Masters in the Picture Gallery, just as it remains today.

Nursing the Bruegel

Upton's rare copy of Pieter Bruegel's 'The Massacre of the Innocents' requires the use of facing paper to halt flaking of paint, pending conservation

Upton needs to raise £15,000 for technical analysis by a Bruegel expert. Based on her findings our conservator can then re-apply flaking paint and remove yellowed varnish, making it easier to see the delicate colour and line of the artist's original intention.

Please donate via the link below or by cash in the Picture Gallery at Upton House.

Look out for our perfect porcelain

Part of the Sevres collection of French porcelain at Upton

Part of the Sevres collection of French porcelain at Upton

Viscount Bearsted shared his father's love of porcelain. The collection of 18th-century European porcelain includes examples from most leading English factories, notably an unrivalled group of Chelsea figures displayed in the Long Gallery on the ground floor. The French porcelain, displayed downstairs in the Porcelain Lobby, features Sèvres tableware including pieces made for Catherine the Great of Russia, King Louis XVI and for Madame du Barry, mistress of Louis XV.

Spotlight on Stubbs

Though best known for his peerless depictions of specimen horses George Stubbs ARA (1724-1806) also painted vernacular scenes of rural life, of which Upton has three examples.

The paintings doubtless appealed to Lord Bearsted because, like most of the items in his collection, they contain human interest. All three scenes, portrayed with realism rather than sentimentality and evidently the result of careful observation, can be found in the Dining Room.

Share