Christmas at Petworth: festive traditions through time
Spend the 2021 festive season at Petworth, and discover different Christmas traditions celebrated through the years, including Georgian, Victorian, post-war and the future. From period costumes crafted by hand with garden greenery to mystical future decorations, there will be something for all the family to enjoy.
Festive traditions through time in Petworth House
Sat 27 Nov 2021 to Mon 3 Jan 2022, 10:30am-3:30pm
The property is open 10am-4pm. Last entry to the house and garden is 3pm.
Explore Christmas through the years in Petworth House. Step into the Georgian period in the Somerset and Square Dining Room, and discover mannequins crafted by hand with garden greenery inspired by Elizabeth Ilive and the 3rd Earl, along with gifts influenced by Jane Austen’s diary.
Christmas trees bring merriment in the Victorian themed Marble Hall, a time when celebrating the festivities with decorated evergreens became popular, thanks to an illustration of the royal family in the 1848 Illustrated London News. See these historic outfits recreated from flowers and foliage on mannequins, and write a Christmas card to a loved one.
See how despite the 1940s war era, families still celebrated Christmas with warmth and joy in the Little Dining Room. Then finally, travel through time to a fantastical future Christmas throughout the Carved and Red Room. See the magical contemporary box Christmas tree installation and discover how families will gather to celebrate the festivities in the future.
You can also find a festive display of food centrepieces resembling historic desserts in the Servants’ Quarters, which were created by Chichester College.
Percy the Park Keeper's winter wander trail at Petworth
Sat 4 Dec to Mon 3 Jan, 10am – 3.30pm
Have fun exploring the Pleasure Garden at Petworth, as you help Percy and his animal friends while following the clues and completing the winter activities. £2 per child.
Festivities outdoors at Petworth
Sat 4 & Sun 5 Dec. Winter words – poetry and spoken word in the Pleasure Garden. Enjoy this performance as part of the South Downs Poetry Festival with Gareth Williams, Paula Tinker and others in the beautiful grounds of Petworth.
Sat 11 & Sun 12 Dec. Watch Panto in the Pleasure Garden with Chichester College.
Sat 18 & Sun 19 Dec. Listen to carols in the Pleasure Garden with West Sussex Sings choirs.
Enjoy a smoking bishop at Petworth
Try this warm festive historical drink at Petworth that has a sweet orange taste. It got its name from the steam that rises from the heat of the liquid, and it was a popular beverage during the festive period in the latter half of the 19th century. Warm your fingers with a cup, and as this version is non-alcoholic all the family can enjoy one. Subject to availability.
Christmas workshops at Petworth
Create a Sustainable Christmas, Sat 27 & Sun 28 Nov, 10:30am-1:30pm. Have fun making cards, gift wrap and tags.
Modelling Christmas cake decorations, Thu 16 Dec, 10:30am-1:30pm. Make two figures of a Father Christmas and Rudolf.
Wreath making, Sat 4 & Fri 10 Dec, 10:30am-1:30pm.
These courses are run by Aspire Sussex and booking is essential.