The house and collection
We are delighted to be able to open a large part of the house for visitors to enjoy once more. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to advise you of the best route and which areas are open to enjoy.
Upton House and Gardens, the country house and weekend retreat, where 2nd Viscount Bearsted, Walter Samuel, created one of the finest art collections in twentieth-century England.
Immerse yourself in a remarkable range of world-class paintings, from Stubbs and Hogarth to Bosch and El Greco. See how Lord Bearsted furnished every spare inch with his pictures and eighteenth-century English and French porcelain.
Outdoors you can stroll through Lady Bearsted’s gardens, designed by the pioneering Kitty Lloyd Jones, and find your own sense of leisure, peace and beauty that we continue to nurture.
" Heavens, the contents! … Some marvellous Chelsea china of the very best quality. The picture collection superb, as fine as any private collection in England."
Beauty and pleasure
Upton House and Gardens was the beloved country home of the Jewish philanthropist, collector and Chairman of Shell, Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted, and his family. Remodelled in the 1930s as a weekend retreat, with its modern comforts, gardens and outstanding collections of paintings and porcelain, Upton was about beauty and pleasure.
An elusive, private man but one of great generosity, Lord Bearsted’s concern for people and the world around them is reflected at Upton in his choice of paintings. Guests of Lord and Lady Bearsted, visiting Upton, were struck by the combination of warmth and charm they encountered in their hosts and which they felt in the house itself.
" Every possible provision shall be made to safeguard the Bearsted collection."
By the end of his life the world had changed immensely. Lord Bearsted wanted the collections and gardens he and Lady Bearsted lovingly created to be kept together for future generations to ‘love, appreciate and respect’, so he gave them and Upton House to the National Trust.
Our world has changed greatly again since 1948. We see Upton and the collections through eyes shaped by new technologies, new fashions and cultures.
From mid-September until the end of November (included as part of standard admission). Monday-Sunday, 11:00am-3pm until 31 October; from 1-28 November Friday-Monday, 12:30pm-3:30pm.
visitors to Upton House will see on display the 4 objects that feature in a new book highlighting 125 remarkable objects from the National Trust collections:
Hans Holbein the Younger, A Young Man with a Pink
Pieter Janszoon Saenredam, The Interior of the Church of St Catherine, Utrecht, c. 1600
Sir Henry Raeburn, The Macdonald Children, c. 1800
Figure group L’Agréable Leçon (The Agreeable Lesson), Chelsea Porcelain Factory, London, c. 1765
Visitors will see each of the 3 paintings illustrated with their own interpretation panel. The Chelsea sculpture group will be the focus of a special display (in the Sitting Room), the first of its kind for this porcelain treasure.
This display is subject to availability – depending on volunteer numbers, it may not always be possible to open all the rooms in the house, where these items are on display.
Come to Upton ready to be curious and open to new stories, and leave planning your next visit.
Please note - Upton houses an important collection of art and porcelain and it isn't possible to have all items on display permanently. To find out if a particular room or work is currently on display, on loan or in storage please contact us before travelling.