Reimagining of India at Basildon Park

Detail showing a scene from the L'Hindoustan wallpaper in the Garden Room at Basildon Park

To acknowledge its associations with India, the Garden room at Basildon Park is being transformed into a temporary exhibition space entitled 'Reimagining India', drawing on Lady Iliffe's original vision for the room.

Background of the Garden Room

The Garden Room at Basildon Park was originally the breakfast room for the Sykes family, for whom the mansion was built in the 18th century. Sir Francis Sykes worked for the East India Company and made his fortune in Bengal. 

When Lord and Lady Iliffe rescued Basildon from dereliction in the 1950s, Lady Iliffe took inspiration from this history in her vision for the Garden Room. The start of this process was the installation of the hand-painted Zuber wallpaper with its 'L'Hindoustan' design, which is still on the walls in the Garden Room today.

What is happening?

Inspired by Lady Iliffe's incomplete decorative scheme, the exhibition in the Garden Room will focus on the connections Basildon Park has had with India over the past 240 years. 

Lady Iliffe’s original brief for the Garden room will form a main part of the inspiration behind the exhibition. For example, she intended to commission Indian-style banquettes covered in sari material, and the team will be looking at how we can bring that to life.

It will also look at cultural achievements and personal stories that have shaped British-Indian links from Sykes' time through until today.

When and where?

From 21 October onwards, the Garden room will be open every day, from 10am to 5pm, for visitors to view the Reimagining of India exhibition.

You can find the Garden room on the ground floor of the house, just past the tea-room entrance.

Please note that from 30 October - 31 December Basildon Park will close at 4pm.