A 1940s Christmas at Attingham Park

Letter and a photo of Thomas 8th Lord Berwick for a 1940s Christmas at Attingham

You are cordially invited to leave the stresses of modern life behind and enjoy the festivities of this time of year with a 1940s twist. Visit Attingham and uncover Christmas traditions from the 1940s, continue some of your own Attingham inspired traditions, or discover something new to celebrate this festive season from Saturday 1 to Sunday 23 December 2018.

Visit us this December as we step back in time and experience a 1940s Christmas at Attingham. The 1940s was a decade of much change for the Berwicks of Attingham, and also in the outside world with the ongoing impact of World War II until 1945, and in the years after. The estate was bequeathed to the National Trust by Thomas, 8th Lord Berwick in 1947. By the end of the decade it remained the home of Lady Berwick, it was the location for the Shropshire Adult Education College and it was under the care of the National Trust.

This year visits to the festively decorated Mansion are by pre-booked timed ticket, for all visitors. You can choose the day and time of day you would like to visit. By spreading visits throughout the day we’re aiming to offer everybody coming time to enjoy each festively decorated room at their own pace, and with enough space to do so. It will also help us to care for the collection and interior of the Grade I listed Mansion at this time of year by preventing overcrowding. Find out more below.

Oh what fun! Christmas at Attingham in the 1940s

The Christmases of the 1940s, celebrated at Attingham were not opulent. The impact of World War II nationally and locally in this quiet area of Shropshire was being felt. Despite this, Thomas (until his death in 1947) and Teresa always tried to ensure there were celebrations to look forward to for estate workers, tenants and friends. Join us as we step back in time and experience a 1940s Christmas and discover how their Christmas traditions varied from ours today.

Christmas traditions at Attingham Park
Christmas wreath hanging on a window, with relfections of the indoor Christmas lights
Christmas traditions at Attingham Park

The Mansion will be decorated for a 1940s Christmas and will be open for pre-booked visits every day between Saturday 1 December and Sunday 23 December.

On the ground floor each room will be decorated with an individual theme and 1940s music will be heard throughout. From a music theme in the Drawing Room, to photographs and papers from the 1940s in the Octagon Room, Attingham's stories and the way Christmas was celebrated more widely in the 1940s will be experienced inside the Mansion.

In the basement, on selected dates throughout December meet our 1940s cooks in the kitchen. Lady Berwick was a member of Atcham WI and you'll be able to find out more about the role of the WI in the 1940s as they cook and prepare a 'tea'. 

A very special Christmas visitor

Father Christmas will be visiting Attingham on selected dates throughout December. Visits are by pre-booked ticket only. Ticket holders will visit Father Christmas and his elves in a specially set aside area of the basement of the Mansion. There is a separate entrance to this area, and it is a separate experience from the main visit to the Mansion. * All weekend visits to Father Christmas are now sold out for 2018*