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Visiting Dudmaston Hall and Galleries

A view of the East Front of Dudmaston Hall with the sun shining on the hall which is framed by trees and a manicured lawn
The East Front of Dudmaston Hall | © National Trust Images / Michael Caldwell

A family home at the centre of rural Shropshire life, Dudmaston also houses one of the most important private collections of modern art in Britain. Discover artwork by Moore, Matisse and Hepworth and uncover the fascinating story of Lady Labouchere’s Botanical Gallery in this house of many contrasts, lived in by the same family for over 875 years.

Historic rooms at Dudmaston Hall closed for the winter

The historic rooms at Dudmaston Hall reopen on Monday 1 April 2024.

Visiting the family home

For its long history, a mixture of modern thinking, tastes and culture have shaped the hall and the wider estate. Today, the hall is home to the Hamilton-Russell family and continues to revolve around the rhythms of life in the local community.

On your visit to Dudmaston Hall, wander round the traditional rooms, from the panelled Entrance Hall to the sunlit Library with views over the garden and Big Pool. Relax and make yourself at home in the cosy Oak Room and flick through the family photo album.

The interior of the Library at Dudmaston House, Shropshire, with shelves built into the walls for books and sofas arranged in the centre of the room.
The Library at Dudmaston House | © National Trust Images / Andreas von Einsiedel

Art galleries at Dudmaston Hall

Sir George and Lady Labouchere started collecting Modern Art in the 1950s while Sir George was working for the British Embassy in Brussels. The couple came to live at Dudmaston in the 1960s, where they installed the galleries to display their personal art collections, as well as temporary exhibitions in some of the gallery spaces.

Why not explore the galleries during your visit to the hall? Here are some highlights to look out for.

Modern Art Gallery

Sir George designed the original hang in the Modern Art gallery when the house opened to the public in the late 1970s. Lady Labouchere saw the galleries as living museums, to keep fresh through changing exhibitions. We continue to change the exhibitions today, which helps us to manage the conservation of the collection, and means you'll often see something new at Dudmaston.

In the Modern Art gallery, only 'Chic Temps' above the fireplace remains where Sir George wished it to be, in honour of the fact that it was one of his favourites.

Spanish Gallery

Sir George and Lady Labouchere were in Spain during the dictatorship of General Franco. They were dark and difficult days and many used art to express their emotions. Despite the anti-establishment message of the works Sir George collected, he maintained good ambassadorial terms with the General.

'El Cine' by Antonio Saura is an example of anti-establishment art by Saura who spent many years in exile from Franco’s regime. It gives the impression of a crowd looking at a huge screen. The screen contains establishment figures, but who is watching who?

Botanical Gallery

Rachel, Lady Labouchere loved botanical art, collecting it and painting it. She came from a family of artistic women and her Aunt, Evelyn Blacklock, was also a prolific artist.

Spending time on her return from abroad at Flatford Mill working under the accomplished artist John Northcote Nash, Lady Labouchere befriended Mary Grierson, the famed botanical artist. Later when Lady Labouchere was starting the Ironbridge Gorge Trust, Grierson gifted a painting of wildflowers from the Gorge to be auctioned.

Gallery Two: Ancient meets Modern

Gallery Two tells the story of the people at Dudmaston, shown through the objects they once owned throughout its history. Take a closer look at the full timeline of Dudmaston on display in the gallery, starting in 1127 when the land was first gifted to the family who still live here today.

A white-painted hall with a sweeping staircase which has several artefacts underneath it, such as a decorative wooden screen, a console table and an embroidered chair.
The Staircase Hall at Dudmaston House | © National Trust Images / Andreas von Einsiedel

Art meets nature exhibition

Dudmaston has always been a place where local artists and craftspeople come to find inspiration in nature and to interpret the beauty of the views and surrounding landscape. To continue this tradition, 'Art meets nature' is now open at Dudmaston Hall – a new exhibition featuring paintings and sculptures by Anthony Twentyman, highlighting his role at one of Dumaston's closest artistic influencers.

As well as Twentyman's works from Dudmaston's collection, the exhibition features some of Twentyman's paintings, kindly loaned by Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Twentyman at Dudmaston

Born in nearby Wolverhampton in 1906, Anthony Twentyman played a big part in what makes Dudmaston special and surprising. Sir George Labouchere, husband to Lady Rachel, Dudmaston's last owner, was a keen collector of Modern Art. He commissioned Twentyman, a local artist and close friend, to design some sculptures for the garden and Galleries at Dudmaston in the late 1960s and early 70s.

Twentyman's sculpture The Watcher looks across the pool at Dudmaston Hall. He was fascinated by texture, light and shade and natural form. He used bones, pebbles and water to inspire the shapes used in his sculptures.

A visitor admiring a bookshelf full of leather-bound books in the Library at Dudmaston, with a couch, lamp and paintings visible in the background

Dudmaston's collections

Explore the objects and works of art we care for at Dudmaston on the National Trust Collections website.

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