Miniature painting of Lord Herbert of Cherbury by Isaac Oliver / Powis Castle

Art & collections

Close view of the wooden Noah's Ark at Snowshill Manor, Gloucestershire

Introducing our remarkable collections 

We care for one of the world’s largest art and heritage collections. With close to one million objects at over 200 historic places, a surprise discovery awaits you around every corner.

Paolo and Francesca by Richard Westmacott III, RA

Romance in our collections 

Discover tales of love and romance in our collections, from sculptures of doomed lovers and paintings of romantic ruins to portraits of unconventional relationships that shocked and challenged societal norms.

Exhibition highlights

A 17th-century kitchen with dog-wheel

Cooking with dogs: How man's best friend powered the kitchens of the past 

Meet the most unlikely of kitchen helpers from a bygone age, the turnspit - a now extinct breed of dog, harnessed to cook food over an open fire.

Scallop shell dish set, c. 1756, Ickworth House

Shining tales: The silver treasures of Ickworth 

A symbol of wealth, power and fashion, discover the stories of the one of the most important collections of 18th-century silver in Europe.

View of the Inlaid Chamber at Sizergh Castle

The return of a Tudor treasure 

Is it possible to lose a room? Discover how one of the great treasures of the Elizabeth age – the acclaimed Inlaid Chamber at Sizergh Castle - was lost and later restored to its original home.

Dress conservators preparing Ellen Terry beetle wing dress for display at Smallhythe Place, Kent.

If clothes could talk... 

Why were Marie Antoinette’s garters designed by a dentist? Why was a 19th-century lord determined to make a coat in a day? And why did dressmakers painstakingly sew jewel beetles’ wings onto a costume for Lady Macbeth?

Garniture of Chinese porcelain jars and vases / The Argory, County Armagh

'Vase madness' at the V & A 

We look after the world’s largest collection of vase sets. Also known as ‘garnitures’, 15 of our most remarkable vase sets are brought together in a major display at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Recent acquisitions and loans

Explore our collections

The majority of objects in our care are recorded in our online database. You'll find many intriguing items to explore at places near you