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Things to see inside Stourhead House

A view of the Entrance Hall, its walls covered in portraits, at Stourhead, Wiltshire
Entrance Hall at Stourhead | © National Trust Images / Dennis Gilbert

Built and modified by different generations of the Hoare family, Stourhead House is an 18th century Palladian-style villa that forms the centrepiece of the garden. Within its walls, there's a significant collection of furniture, designed by Chippendale the Younger, along with artwork collected by Henry Hoare II and Sir Richard Colt Hoare during their Grand Tours around the world.

Stourhead celebrates 300 years

The house at Stourhead was declared to be ‘habitable’ by Good Henry Hoare 300 years ago - in the spring of 1724. Since that time, it has been home to many remarkable people. In this anniversary year, there will be a focus on the women who turned the house into a home - exploring how they, and other female artists and creatives, influenced the house and collection as we know it today.

Making a house into a home

Visitors will be able to explore a new exhibition focusing on the lives of the women who lived at Stourhead and the female makers and creators who helped turn the grand Country House into a home. On display you will find personal mementos, diary passages and replica dresses that have been carefully recreated based on historical photographs and portraits. Other stories will be told through the eyes of women, such as Jane Benson, Lady Augusta, and Alda, Lady Hoare, who have played a part in Stourhead’s history.

A replica dress for Lady Alda Hoare stands in the Library at Stourhead as part of the '300 years of Stourhead as a home' exhibition.
A replica dress for Lady Alda Hoare stands in the Library at Stourhead | © National Trust/Petra Mirosevic-Sorgo

Stourhead collection highlights

Inside the house is a significant collection of furniture, artwork, and heritage pieces collected by the Hoare family during their time at Stourhead. Here are just a few of the things you can expect to see.

Conservator April Johnson looks over at the fine oil painting 'Penelope and Euriclea' by Angelica Kauffman displayed inside the picture gallery, Stourhead, Wiltshire
Conservator surveying 'Penelope and Euriclea', Stourhead | © National Trust/Petra Mirosevic-Sorgo

The return of Penelope and Euriclea

Angelica Kauffman’s fine oil painting, Penelope and Euriclea, has finally returned to Stourhead after 140 years. Thanks to the generous support of a National Trust fund (set up by the late Simon Sainsbury) and a member of the Hoare family, the conservation charity was able to place a winning bid for the painting at auction. The painting will feature in a wider exploration of Kauffman’s work during 2024.

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Family exploring the garden at Stourhead, Wiltshire

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