An introduction to Petworth House and Park
Spanning 900 years of history and passing through just one family, Petworth House was built as an English 'Versailles' to rival the palaces of Europe in the 17th century.
Petworth House and Servants' Quarters
Petworth House is renowned as a champion of art and culture, and major works by the likes of Titian, van Dyck, Reynolds and Flaxman adorn the state rooms of this English 'Versailles'.
What makes Petworth truly unique is the merging of its art and interiors. Many of the owners of Petworth House were collectors of fine art and these works remain on display here at Petworth as the centrepiece of your visit.
Not your average country house, the family line remains unbroken and descendants still live at Petworth House. Their bedrooms and those of their guests as well as any domestic furniture remain in the private side of Petworth House. Instead it is the art, the grandeur of the rooms and the stories of the collectors that take centre stage.
The painting and sculpture today are laid out in a likeness similar to when the third Earl of Egremont (1751-1837) lived at Petworth, during a time that became known as Petworth's 'Golden Age'. During this period countless artists, including English Romantic painter JMW Turner, were invited to Petworth to take inspiration from the collection and the surrounding landscape and could also discuss art there with like-minded contemporaries.
Though the rooms might seem overcrowded by our standards, believe it or not, this design and the merging of sculpture and painting, chosen by the third Earl, was revolutionary at the time. As you wander these state rooms today, you are seeing them just as visitors like Turner did over 200 years ago.
Petworth Park and Pleasure Ground
The magnificence of Petworth House is powerfully linked with the vast Capability Brown landscaped Deer Park. There are over 700 acres of rolling hills to explore with giant ponds that offer moments of peace and serenity with still reflections.
Roam the grounds and you will come across an historic herd of fallow deer as well as ancient and veteran trees, some of which are nearly 1,000 years old. You can also discover idyllic Capability Brown monuments such as the Ionic Rotunda and Doric Temple that add drama to the views you encounter.