The state rooms of Petworth House
Inspired by the Baroque Palaces of Europe, Petworth House was rebuilt in the 17th-century with grand state rooms in order to display the family's wealth, taste and royal connections. These rooms were never intended for everyday living so inside you'll find few domestic furniture arrangements. Displayed as they were when the 3rd Earl of Egremont lived at Petworth House, see the state rooms just as visiting artists like JMW Turner did.
The Oak Hall
Since at least 1743 this has been the guest entrance to the mansion and still serves as such today for our visitors. in 1764 this room was called the 'Picture Stair Case' and 34 picturs were hung here.
The Somerset Room
This room is named after the 'Proud' 6th Duke of Somerset (1662-1748) who bought several of the paintings that hung here. Originally this room would have formed part of the Duke's much larger Servants' Hall but in 1795 The 3rd Earl of Egremont split the room into the now named Somerset Room and the Square Dining Room.
The Square Dining Room is also home to a large group of Van Dyck portraits acquired by the 10th Earl of Northumberland (1602-1668). Of importance is the protrait of the 10th Earl's father, the Wizard Earl who was imprisoned in the Tower of London for sixteen years.
Now you can enjoy its wonderful view across the Park redesigned by Capability Brown in the 18th century.
The Beauty Room
The room was devised by the 6th Duke as a tribute to the ladies of Queen Anne's court having served the Queen as Master of the Horse while his wife was Groom of the Stole.
These portraits were originally full-length but the 3rd Earl of Egremont rolled up the lower part of each canvas to create a shrine to the leading figures and events of the Napoleonic Wars in the space below, including a portrait of Napoleon, and bust of the Duke of Wellington and depictions of the battles of Vittoria and Waterloo, in which two of his sons participated.
The Red Room
Red has always been a popular colour on which to hang Old Master pictures. This scheme was devised by the 3rd Earl in 1806 and restored in 2002 by the team at Petworth, who also reinstated the picture hang according to a watercolour by Turner.
The chapel is the best preserved interior from the medival Petworth. The 6th Duke of Somerset then went on to transform it with a grand Baroque flourish including the carved curtain and carved cherubs' heads.
Lord and Lady Egremont still reside at Petworth so you won't see many domestic rooms and furniture on your visit. Join a behind the scenes tour on Tuesdays and Thursdays running from May to November and you may see some of the guest bedrooms. On Monday afternoons you also have the opportunity to see the White and Gold Room and the White Library