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Things to see in the house at Antony

The entrance Hall at Antony House showing the staircase, three arches, stained oak panelling and paintings
The entrance hall at Antony House | © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The house at Antony is full of personal treasures and family stories stretching back generations, and is still lived in by the Carew Pole family today. Among the many things to see in the house are a selection of portraits that reflect the way in which the Civil War weaves its way through history and wooden furniture, carefully cleaned during the winter months.

Personal treasures

The house sits high above the River Lynher with sweeping views over the Repton-designed landscape. The beautifully situated house is built from a rare Pentewan stone, which glows a silvery grey in the sunlight and gives the building its distinctive colour.

A visit to Antony has the personal touch and the spirit of collecting is still alive. Expect to see 200-year-old portraits hanging next to 20th-century glass ornaments. The latest generation of Carew Poles live in the house today, so you might even spot their favourite toys.

Antony is a house full of faces and personalities. Generations of the Carew family look down from gilded frames as you walk through the rooms. A rich family history tells of English Civil War intrigue and the remarkable scholarship and creativity of an aristocratic family.

Portraits at Antony House

Charles I looks down from a portrait above the fireplace pictured at his trial in 1648, one month before his execution. Meet Alexander Carew in the library, who opportunistically raised a militia for the parliamentarian cause and suffered the consequences of his decision.

A portrait of Richard Carew hangs in the hall, a scholar, antiquary and author of the Survey of Cornwall (1602), an unrivalled portrait of Elizabethan Cornwall. Any subject could stir his curiosity from the rules of Cornish wrestling to the best way to pickle a pilchard.

Cornwall in Conflict trail

From the English Civil War to the Second World War, the Carews of Antony have been involved in local and international conflicts. Pick up a free information booklet to learn more about these clashes, read their war stories, and discover the treasure trove of militaria that the Antony collection holds.

Behind closed doors

The house at Antony is closed over winter and reopens in the spring. During the winter months, the collections and house team are kept busy with several tasks to ensure Antony is conserved for generations to come.

Within days of Antony's doors closing the work begins to transform the house from a visitor attraction back to a lived-in family home. Ropes, stanchions, visitor information and signage are cleaned, repaired and packed away ready for spring.

Vital conservation

To protect the objects in the house from deterioration, the presence of potentially harmful pests like moths and woodworm are closely monitored. Results are gathered year-round and sent away for analysis. During the winter, the conservation team look at these results in-depth and assess the needs of the collection and whether current measures are sufficient.

Over winter, the team also undertake a full deep clean of the house, whether it's taking a hog's-hair brush and museum vacuum cleaner to the intricate wooden back of a Chippendale chair in the Dining Room or carefully spot-cleaning delicate ceramics with cotton swabs in the South Bedroom cabinet.

Visiting the first floor of the house

As Antony is a lived in family home, we can't guarantee that all rooms will be open on the day you visit. On some days we may only be available to provide a ground floor only route due to a smaller number of volunteers available on the day.

The outside of Antony House seen from afar across a lawn on a sunny day

Discover Antony

Find out when Antony is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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