Collections Season

Conservation Assistant cleaning a silver cup & cover dating from 1764

As we open the House in winter for the first time, join us to discover some of the amazing collections, inside and out, that we look after at Anglesey Abbey. From Lord Fairhaven's collection of paintings, antiques, clocks and silverware in the House, to the amazing collection of plants in the gardens.

" To collect is to add another great pleasure to life....I say that collecting is the greatest fun and interest for those who like it, and completely incomprehensible and silly to those who don't."
- Lord Fairhaven

Winter Garden Collection - till 30 March

Designed to reach its peak during the winter & early spring, the Winter Garden was opened in 1998 to commemorate the centenary of Lord Fairhaven's birth.

Enjoy the vivid colour, textures and scents of the Winter garden
Image of family group walking through the Winter Garden
Enjoy the vivid colour, textures and scents of the Winter garden

It contains a unique collection of plants specifically chosen to provide colour, texture and scent during the cold dark days of winter.

Highlights include bright dogwoods, the polished bark of the Tibetan Cherry, the heady scent of 'Sweet Box' and the magnificent, himalayan silver birch grove.

Inspired to add a touch of Winter colour to your garden? - you'll find many of the plants & shrubs for sale in our Plant Centre.

Lord Fairhaven: The Collector - till 25 March

The House is a treasure trove of special objects, all collected by Lord Fairhaven, who spent forty years and a fortune acquiring over 10,000 prize pieces to fill Anglesey Abbey.

From silverware to statues, and tapestries to timepieces, there's so much to discover. Go behind the scenes with our Conservation Team, uncovering items not usually on show and getting hands-on with our vital conservation work.

Meet the Makers

Explore the stories of the individuals & industries that brought life to our treasures. Marvel at the display of the siversmith's skill, & discover Lord Fairhaven's support for local craftspeople, including the Cambridge Tapestry Company.

Activities & Specialist House Tours 

We're planning a great range of fun activities for all the family to help you explore Lord Fairhaven's collection.

Why not start your journey of discovery on our Collecting Trail. The trail will help you find out more about Lord Fairhaven's collecting habits by following a set of clues and collecting 'stamp' stickers, just like he used to collect stamps when he was a boy.

Our Conservation Team will be hard at work undertaking the annual deep clean of the rooms along the Newmarket Corridor of the House. This is a great opportunity to learn about the specialist tools & techniques they use, and perhaps even lend a hand. Please stop and ask them any questions about their work, they'll be only to happy to answer them.

Conservation Assistants deep cleaning the Newmarket Corridor

We will also be running demonstrations on silver cleaning. You can learn about the importance of hallmarks in determining the authenticity of an item, how to read them, and even have a go at creating your very own hallmark.

Uncover the history of book binding in the Library. Discover its significance in collecting and how it affects how we look after the books today. You can also have a go at creating a pocket book using a simple book binding technique.

Throughout our Collections Season, we will be running specialist tours for those visitors wishing to delve deeper into the collection and further their understanding of conservation.

For those who like an early start to the day, we have a 'First foot Fairhaven' tour starting from the front door of the House at 10.15am. This tour looks at Lord Fairhaven as well as the key highlights of the main rooms of the House.

Discover more about Lord Fairhaven as a collector on our 'Behind the Scenes' tour, which runs every Tuesday at 12 noon.

You can learn why Lord Fairhaven amassed a large collection of clocks, and what's involved in keeping them ticking on our 'Timely' tour every Wednesday at 12 noon.

Close up of Conservation Assistant winding up a clock

Nature Collections  30 March - 29 April

To mark the arrival of spring, we celebrate nature both in the House and in the Gardens.

Firstly, we take a look at nature as represented in Lord Fairhaven's collections of paintings, prints and books.

In the gardens lookout for wildflowers, birds and bees. We'll give you some species to look out for and the best places to see them.