Meets the Percys Guided Tour

Portraits of the Percy family

Join a 45 minute guided tour of Petworth House and discover more about the Percy family, Petworth's founding family. Discover how this family have influenced Petworth since the 1150s, learn about their royal connections and their involvement in historical events suchas the Gunpowder Plot. Meet the Percys is available on Mondays and Fridays excluding Bank Holidays. Spaces are subject to availability on a first come, first serve basis.

Begin your journey in Medieval England as you hear about the powerful Percy dynasty of the north who were given the Petworth estates as a royal gift in the 1150s. 

Petworth was only ever intended for occasional use by the family but everything changed for Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland in the 1570s. Find out about his accusations of treason against Elizabeth I and why the family were uprooted to Petworth to be watched over by the crown.

You'll also hear about Henry Percy's son, known as the Wizard Earl because of his interest in science and alchemy. Yet again the family fell foul of the crown and the Wizard Earl was imprisoned in the Tower of London implicated in the Gunpowder Plot to destroy Parliament in 1605.

A big highlight to the tour is Algernon Percy and his sister Lucy Percy. Discover more about how they both managed to work with the Royalists and the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War of 1642 to 1651. You'll also discover more about Algernon Percy, the 10th Earl of Northumberland's interest in Anthony van Dyck paintings, an Old Master of the Golden Age of Dutch painters who painted for the King, Charles I.

You'll also discover Elizabeth Percy, the 10th Earl's granddaughter. It was thanks to her wealth and the ambition of her third husband, Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset that they completely rebuilt Petworth in the Baroque style you see today popularised by the recent renovations to the Palce of Versailles. Find out more about her interests in art and design but also more about her previous marriages and the rumours of murder and assassination associated with them.

The Meet the Percys tours run Mondays and Fridays until 4 November 2018, excluding Bank Holidays and are subject to availability.