Step inside the 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.  

The influence of Country Life

In our Country Life room we explore the influences the fashionable magazine had on home owners at the time. As a respected, high-quality magazine it published photographs of privately owned country houses, interiors and gardens, showcasing the nation’s wealth of historic architecture and culture. 

Discover the influence of Country Life magazine in the 1920s
Desk between windows in historic room with framed pictures on the wall

Modern days, modern ways 

Discover the style and images of the 1920s in this exhibition using original artwork and posters from Shell, as well as costume. 

Lord Bearsted became one of the wealthiest men in Britain when he inherited the family fortune – amassed from his father’s development of the Shell Transport and Trading Company. This gave him the funds to buy and re-imagine Upton for the modern age. 

Discover the style of the era through costume and posters in the Modern Days, Modern Ways room
1920s costume display

Have you good taste? 

We offer you the chance to see how you might fare against the style gurus of the day.  Take a look at some of the pictures and decide which you think are in the best taste. They say it’s only a matter of common sense and can be learned! 

Are you in tune with the style of the era? Take the Good Taste quiz and find out.
Lady looking at picture on wall

A magnificent panorama 

Relax on the house terrace and sweeping lawn, enjoy the fresh air and views over the fields before discovering the flourishing terraced gardens below. As you meander around the garden and along the straight terraces each direction you walk in gives a new view of the gardens. 

From the stone steps you can wander along the terraces and explore the gardens
View over the garden from the stone staircase

New viewpoint to help your explore the garden

Follow the paths through the gardens and find the viewpoints illustrating the garden’s potential, taken from the original house sale particulars. Then look out to see the changes Lady Bearsted made with garden designer Kitty Lloyd Jones. Read the quotes at the viewpoint and piece together the clues in the views as you enjoy the period colours and creations our garden team look after today. 

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.