Discover the house

Daffodils in the sarcophagus at Polesden Lacey

From the stunning décor in the gold Saloon and the salvaged wood carved panelling in the Central Hall, to state-of-the-art conveniences, such as Mrs Greville's personal lift, no expense was spared when the house was renovated ready for Mrs Greville's first house party in 1909.

The house the Grevilles bought in 1907 was practically a new building. They employed Mewès and Davis, the architects of the Ritz hotel, to help transform the interiors of their new weekend retreat. One thing's for sure - Mrs Greville wanted her house to impress. 

" I want a room I can entertain Maharajas in."
- Margaret Greville 

The library is one of the most welcoming of the reception rooms at Polesden Lacey. The books here are from the libraries at Polesden Lacey and Charles Street - the Greville’s London residence. Other volumes belonged to the servant's social club, once located in Stable Courtyard. 

The Library at Polesden Lacey
A view of the library at Polesden Lacey
The Library at Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey houses nearly 100 paintings, an exceptional collection created by Margaret Greville and her father that you can view throughout the house. 

Visiting the house 

You can explore the house at your own pace or join one of our guided tours. The house is open daily from March to October with more limited opening at other times (see opening times for more details).   

Guided tours take place from 11am – 12.15pm, excluding school/bank holidays, between March and October. To join a tour, just pick up a ticket from visitor reception when you arrive.  

You can take a self-guided tour on weekdays from 1pm and all day at the weekend. 

Reading the red book in the Saloon at Polesden Lacey
A man reads a room guide in the house at Polesden Lacey
Reading the red book in the Saloon at Polesden Lacey

What you can see on your visit  

We open as many rooms as possible, but it does vary depending on conservation work taking place including resting rooms (you can read more about this below) and volunteer availability.  During your visit you will usually be able to see the following rooms on the ground floor only: 

  • Lobby 
  • Central Hall 
  • Dining Room 
  • Picture Corridors 
  • Library  
  • Saloon 
  • Tea Room (view from doorway) 
  • Billiard Room 
  • Smoking Room 
  • Gun Room 

At present there are no bedrooms on show. Mrs Greville's boudoir which has previously been open is currently undergoing conservation. Rooms on the upper floor will be open for the Treasured Possessions exhibition. We hope to bring back our 'unseens spaces' tour soon so that visitors can see explore rooms not currently open to the public including servants rooms and rooms undergoing restoraton. 

Rooms are staffed by our fantastic volunteers at Polesden Lacey who can share more detail about the history of the house and collections.  

Keeping visitors, volunteers and staff safe

In line with Government guidelines, face coverings are required when visiting the house. The safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff is a priority and the team will be carrying out enhanced cleaning throughout the day and hand sanitising stations will be available for visitors. Please refrain from touching surfaces where possible to help with this. 

Our regular visitors will also notice some changes to our displays, including the removal of interactive displays and comment cards. Some rooms will also be roped off and viewed from a distance to ensure everyone can move through the house safely. 

There may be a short wait outside the house to ensure that everyone has enough space to explore the house comfortably.

Our conservation work 

As an accredited museum there's a lot of work that the team does to keep the collection and interiors shipshape. 

We work throughout the year to care for and conserve the house and collection. One of the conservation factors we must consider is light. By ‘resting’ rooms we reduce the irreversible deterioration of areas, particularly textiles. We even need to rest the floorboards, which weren’t built to host as many visitors as we are able to welcome today. For this reason, we are not open all year round. 

Whilst we’re closed, we’re able to carry out vital work such as deep cleaning, beginning with high level cleaning of ceilings and walls, and inspecting the collection to check condition. We may also use this time to send key pieces away to be restored. Wherever possible we carry out conservation work while we're open so that visitors can see what we're doing and ask questions if they want to. 

A member of staff uses a paintbrush and hoover to clean a picture frame
Woman using a paintbrush and a hoover to clean a picture frame
A member of staff uses a paintbrush and hoover to clean a picture frame

Don't miss a thing