Exhibitions at Dyrham Park
Dyrham Park’s latest exhibition is called 'the world of William Blathwayt and the birth of modern Britain'. All about the fast-changing world of the late 17th century, it sets the scene of the 1690s when leading civil servant Blathwayt started rebuilding Dyrham Park. It introduces the transforming local, national and global climate of the period.
What to expect
Housed in rooms never before open to the public, the exhibition is spread across three rooms. These rooms feature short videos as well as an interactive display of objects and collection items, which bring the late 17th century to life.
The first room sets the scene, highlighting well-known names and events of the time. These include the Great Fire of London, the Glorious Revolution, the establishment of the Bank of England as well as the growth in global trade, colonialism and the Atlantic slave trade.
The second room focuses on key moments in Blathwayt’s life during these significant historic events, told through theatre acts on a virtual stage. Then the third room uses special items from Dyrham’s collection to reflect his homelife and career.
Blathwayt’s colonial and military career meant he had many opportunities to procure desirable objects and plants from around the world. Among copies of paintings and maps, other items on display include pistols and Chinese teapots.
‘The exhibition is an introduction to this fascinating period of social, political and economic transformation – a pivotal time for Blathwayt to be at the forefront of government as a new Britain emerged and a new house at Dyrham was constructed.’
- Rupert Goulding, National Trust exhibition curator
Accessing the exhibit
The exhibition is open most days, subject to volunteer availability. It has level access and British Sign Language is available to accompany the films.
Previous exhibitions at Dyrham Park
Running for a year from late 2020, 'Colonial Dyrham' explored the property’s connections with colonialism. It looked at its global connections and showcased contemporary responses to these histories through words, music, images and poetry. It also created a space where visitors could share their reflections. It was part of a partnership with the University of Leicester called ‘Colonial Countryside’, which aimed to teach people about the colonial connections of properties like Dyrham Park.
There is history of occupation at Dyrham Park from ancient times. Find out about the people and families who have added their stories to Dyrham Park.
Dyrham Park has a long history with deep connections to colonialism and the British Empire, all of which is reflected through the history of three prominent families.
The main phases of conservation and decorative work in the house at Dyrham Park are now complete and you can explore beautifully presented rooms, delve into the house's history and discover what it was like to live in the 17th century.
Learn about some of the prized paintings and objects in the collection at Dyrham Park, from a triptych painting to a collection of Delft ceramics.
Learn about people from the past, discover remarkable works of art and brush up on your knowledge of architecture and gardens.