Step inside a made-to-measure home

The Hall with lots of carpets, tables and chairs

Ninety years ago, following a property viewing similar to the one you will experience on your visit, Upton House was soon under new ownership.

Under new ownership

Lord and Lady Bearsted already knew the local area and when Upton came on the market in 1927 they seized the opportunity to make Upton their country residence.

The building work soon begun. Lord Bearsted employed architect Percy Morley Horder to create a scheme to transform the Victorian country house into a ‘made-to-measure’ home. With tasteful mod-cons, home comforts and a place to showcase his growing art collection.

“There is a curious satisfaction in making your home to measure, shaping it neatly round the possessions and habits that fill so large a part of everyday life.” The Ideal Home magazine 1927. 

Follow the renovations

Viewings of the house are at regular intervals throughout the day. Please collect your viewing time on arrival or book in advance here. 

The Land Agent will welcome you at the door, and then you are free to explore the rooms and see the story of how a made-to-measure home has been created.  From engaging your architect and choosing interior fixtures and fittings to starting the build.  For the British people, rich or poor, the idea of home took on new importance after the First World War.  

Upton in miniature! 

To complement our ‘Made-To-Measure’ project, one of Upton’s volunteers has made us our very own dolls’ house.   This Lilliputian version of Upton House is made-to-measure on a 1/12 scale.  We would like visitors to join us in making fittings, furnishings, and all manner of late 1920s and early 1930s household miniatures, from jelly moulds to radio wirelesses, to dress this very special doll’s house.  If you are a keen crafter and want to join in then please click here for more details. Not leaving anyone out we also have a smaller dolls’ house for children to play with. We’ll be running onsite activities during half term to make items including dolls, perfume bottles and curtains to furnish it.

New Country Life photography exhibition

To celebrate the 120th birthday of country life, the magazine has produced an exhibition that examines two important strands of the magazine’s unrivalled photography – interiors and portraits. Every week since 1897 Country Life has published photographs of outstanding houses old and new, sometimes shockingly so. The pictures chart the changing faces of these buildings and the history of interior design over the same period. In many cases they have recorded the evolution of houses as they passed through the hands of successive owners. Part of the full exhibition in on loan from Country Life and will be at Upton House until the end of the year.

Portraits and architectual photogrpahy from the last 90 years, two of Country Life's most well know front over images.
Front cover images of Country Life magazine on display
Portraits and architectual photogrpahy from the last 90 years, two of Country Life's most well know front over images.

Coming soon - Picture in focus

Call into the new picture in focus room and find out about the clues of the painting past that come up in the findings of the conservation work. One of our most important paintings ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ by 16th century artist Bruegel has been away for two years for conservation. Its back now and hanging in pride of place in our picture gallery. We have opened up a new interactive exhibition with hands-on activities for all ages; spot the difference magnetic activity, tracing and headphones to listen to music telling the story of the painting.

Important painting by Bruegel back in the gallery after two years of conservation work.
Framed painting on green wall, winter scene
Important painting by Bruegel back in the gallery after two years of conservation work.

In our exhibition rooms...

Explore the garden this season

Framed painting on green wall, winter scene

Afternoon Tea Talks

Based on our latest research, this series of talks will reveal more about Upton and its wonderful gardens, art collection and history. Talks are followed by a delicious cream tea. Tickets are just £10 each.

Produce picked from Upton's Kitchen Garden

Upton's Kitchen Garden

The steep, south facing slope of the Kitchen Garden has been providing fruit and vegetables for many centuries.

Cups and saucers and a large jug in foreground of the restaurant seating area

Lunch and afternoon tea at Upton

The Pavilion Restaurant has it all, from coffees and cakes to hot lunches and sandwiches, and open from 11am-5pm. On busy weekends during the spring, summer and autumn, we also have extra options for you including afternoon tea at Iris’s Tea Room and take away coffees and snacks from the Tea Window.

View over the mirror pool to the ceder trees

Kitty Lloyd-Jones at Upton House and Garden

Learn about Kitty Lloyd Jones and how her arrival in the 1930s radically reshaped the garden.

Old Photograph of Lord and Lady Bearsted

Lord and Lady Bearsted of Upton House and Gardens

Discover the story of these generous Upton residents and their enduring influence on the estate.

Painting of Venice by Canaletto

An art collection to rival the best

Discover the treasures collected by Lord Bearsted over his lifetime. From rare porcelain to paintings by a wide variety of famous artists. All on display throughout the house just as they were in Lord Bearsted’s time.