Miniature Worlds

18th century dolls' house at Nostell

As the whole property at Nostell is currently closed, you sadly can't see the Miniature Worlds exhibition and activities at the present time.

A miniature marvel

Only a handful of dolls’ houses have survived from the 18th century and Nostell’s is the only one you can see in the original family home it was designed for. Arguably the most detailed and authentic of its kind, the dolls' house at Nostell is a true masterpiece of craftsmanship and a window into a past world.

At nearly 300 years old, this rare survival has been in need of vital conservation work. Thanks to generous donations from our supporters in 2019, we’ve raised over £100,000 to conserve, relocate, redisplay and conduct further research into Nostell’s dolls’ house. 

See the tiny treasure house sparkle

The dolls’ house is now showcased in a new permanent exhibition space as you enter the mansion on the ground floor. Beautifully illuminated with state-of-the-art showcase lighting in a bespoke glass case, visitors will be able to see every tiny detail, from the liveried footman and the miniature glass mouse to the hallmarked silver tea set.

The wallpaper in the Drawing Room is an exquisite example of hand painted decoupage on a miniature scale
The Drawing Room in Nostell's dolls' house
The wallpaper in the Drawing Room is an exquisite example of hand painted decoupage on a miniature scale

You’ll also see the dolls' house come to life through 3D digital animation and high resolution photography and hear experts discuss the world of 18th-century design, craftsmanship and social history that this miniature mansion opens up for us.

Conservation collaboration

Just as the dolls’ house was created by the work of many hands, we've commissioned conservators in a range of disciplines to repair, clean and conserve the house and its contents. 

In the new exhibition you’ll get an insight into the tools, techniques and processes that were used by experts in textiles, stonework, joinery and paper conservation. You’ll also find out about new discoveries they unveiled along the way.

See some behind the scenes videos on our Nostell Dolls' House page.

Interactive activities