The Bankes family home
Step inside the home of one of the most powerful families of Dorset and discover the history of Kingston Lacy and the Bankes family who owned vast swathes of Dorset for over 400 years. From fighting the forces of Oliver Cromwell, to gathering one of the world’s largest collections of ancient Egyptian artefacts, the Bankes have a colourful past.
Some things may be a bit different...
We are delighted to open the magnificant State and Ground Floors in the house at Kingston Lacy on weekdays from 11am – 4pm with last entry at 3.30pm. These rooms offer lavish interiors and display some of the most renowned artworks in the Bankes collection. The bedroom and attic floors will remain closed until further notice.
To keep you safe we have introduced a one-way route through the house and hand sanitising gel will be made available on entry and exit. In line with government guidance visitors to our house, shop and cafe are required to wear a face covering. Please bring one along with you
You will need to book a ticket in advance of your visit that is valid for entry to the house, garden and parkland. To keep you safe we are limiting the number of people who can access the house at any one time. Due to limits on capacity, it may not be possible for everyone to access the house during their visit.
By visiting the house you are helping us to develop a new experience that can be used to open more places that you love. Thank you for your support.
Outstanding collection of paintings
Kingston Lacy is home to one of the finest private collections of paintings in Britain with works by Rubens Van Dyck, Tintoretto, Titian and Brueghel.
Treasures from ancient Egypt
Step back thousands of years and discover the largest private display of Egyptian relics in the UK. Look out for bronze cats, cockerels, scarab beetles and 25 ‘stelae’ (tomb inscriptions) from Deir el-Medina – all mementoes from William John Bankes’ incredible journey through Egypt in 1818.
A taste of Italy
With its marble floors and vaulted ceiling, stepping into the Loggia is like being whisked away to a flamboyant Italian palace. Gaze out over the parterre and up through the Cedar avenue or admire the statues of King Charles 1st and the family’s ancestor ‘Brave Dame Mary’ Bankes who fiercely defended Corfe Castle against a roundhead siege.
Restored to new
Spot the keys to Corfe Castle over the mantlepiece in the library, the old home of the Bankes family, destroyed in the flames of war. Look up for the beautiful ceiling fresco, now restored to pride of place after a 20 year absence, thanks to generous public donations - the first time a detached fresco has ever been restored.
A virtual tour
Visitors wishing to view the State floor of the house will need to climb flights of stairs. The
ground floor of the house is accessible to wheelchair users where visitors can experience the house in 360° on a touch screen virtual tour. Please ask one of our volunteers or members of staff on arrival to the house.