Skip to content

Erddig’s collection

A mother is holding her child and pointing at a display of pictures on the walls of a hallway in the house at Erddig, Clwyd.
Visitors looking at a display in the house at Erddig | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Erddig has the second largest collection of items in the whole of the National Trust. With a total of 30,000 to care for, it's no mean feat for the house team of conservators and volunteers. We’re an accredited museum too.

A curatorial attitude

Erddig’s 30,000 objects, ranging from magnificent mirrors to homemade Christmas cards, along with the crumbling house, derelict gardens and 1,200-acre estate were entrusted to our care in 1973. It was to be an agreement that took several years for Philip Yorke II to feel comfortable with.

Part of that agreement was to retain every item in the collection, a tricky job for conservators after generations of Yorkes took an almost curatorial attitude to their belongings. But this is what makes a visit to Erddig so special. There is so much crammed into our house and not all of it is on display.

A double bed with an opulent fabric-covered canopy is surrounded by decorative furniture inside the State Bedroom at Erddig, Clwyd, which has green wallpaper with a floral pattern.
The State Bedroom at Erddig | © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Unique collection of portraits

For nearly 200 years, Erddig’s servants were recorded in portraits, photographs and verse. Nothing of such breadth survives anywhere else in the world.

Explore the servants’ quarters at Erddig and discover walls filled with paintings and photographs of the people who worked below stairs; celebrating loyalty, length of service and hard work.

The portraits were commissioned by the Yorke family. The tradition was started in 1791 by Philip I who commissioned a set of 6 portraits from John Walters of Denbigh. Amongst others, the portraits commemorate:

  • Jane Ebrell, house-maid and spider brusher, aged 87;
  • Jack Henshaw, gamekeeper, aged 59;
  • Jack Nicholas, kitchen man, aged 71;
  • Edward Prince, carpenter, aged 73.

View online

Since April 2013 scores of volunteers have been busy improving Erddig’s digital records. They’ve been working hard on a special project to create a digital inventory known as the Collections Management System (CMS).

The CMS project team has opened drawers and crouched underneath tables, peeked in boxes and unwrapped tissue paper parcels; working in front of visitors and behind-the-scenes to take photographs of every item and record what we see.

The CMS project team's words and photos can be seen on the National Trust collections website. So far 18,380 of these objects can be viewed by visitors online, aiding identification and research amongst collectors, enthusiasts and hobbyists.

"It’s an opportunity to highlight our conservation work not usually seen by visitors, such as carrying out the Toy Store inventory check. I’ll never forget unwrapping all the animals for our Noah’s Ark. The CMS volunteers say it’s like Christmas as they never quite know what they’ll find stored away here, and they enjoyed sharing their stories with visitors."

Heather Vernon, Erddig House Steward

A double bed with an opulent fabric-covered canopy is surrounded by decorative furniture inside the State Bedroom at Erddig, Clwyd, which has green wallpaper with a floral pattern.

Erddig's collections

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

You might also be interested in

The 18th century parterre garden at Erddig in Wales on a sunny day in May, with formal flowerbeds in the foreground.

History of Erddig 

Find out about the High Sheriff who lived beyond his means when he built Erddig, the rich London lawyer who extended and redecorated it and 240 years of the Yorke family.

A large kitchen with blue painted walls. A long wooden table is in the middle of the room, with cooking range on the left, herbs hanging from the ceilings and copper pots on the shelves.

Visiting the house at Erddig 

Saved from ruin, Erddig is a rare survivor teeming with treasures. From servants’ portraits to fine furnishings, discover the top things to see and do when you visit the house.

Cherry blossom at the end of the yew walk in the garden at Erddig

Visiting the garden at Erddig 

From daffodils in spring to 180 apple varieties in autumn, find out about this 18th-century walled garden and its seasonal activities and highlights.

Scarves and a handbag hung on coat pegs

Eating and shopping at Erddig 

Check out the places to eat and shop at Erddig. Most are set within historic outbuildings and every purchase helps us to look after Erddig for future generations to enjoy.