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Visiting the house at Nostell

Visitors outside the 18th-century mansion at Nostell Priory
The 18th-century mansion at Nostell Priory | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Nostell is one of the great treasure houses of the north of England and home to countless treasures, stories and secrets.

A signifier of wealth and status

Built as an ambitious statement by the Winn family between 1725–1785, the house is a showcase for elegant and fashionable design. It was created not simply as a home, but also to send out an important message about the family's wealth and social status.

Today you can unravel the story of grand designs and unfinished masterpieces, discover the architects and craftsmen that created this Yorkshire show home and explore the collections you can see today.

Some of the most treasured items at Nostell include a world-class collection of Thomas Chippendale furniture and textiles, historic paintings, a Georgian dolls' house, Robert Adam interiors and a rare John Harrison clock.

The interior of the library at Nostell Priory showing a large desk and ornate bookcases on the walls
The library at Nostell | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

125 treasures

Nostell is proud to care for six of the National Trust’s 125 treasures. Step across the Georgian threshold and discover tales of design, drama and society with the help of a new treasure guide and house keeper’s room experience. All trails lead to treasure: iconic items at Nostell.

Master craftsman Thomas Chippendale’s monumental library desk takes centre stage in the room it was crafted for – an exquisite example of 18th century design and part of Nostell’s world-class Chippendale collection just waiting to be explored with fresh eyes.

Tales of trade, ambition and fortune unfold amid the intricate decoration of the ‘hongs’ punch bowl, newly displayed to reveal the secrets of a key chapter in global history.

Nostell’s rare 18th century dolls’ house has pride of place in its own bespoke exhibition room following a major conservation project to reawaken the beauty of its stunning interiors; from fine wall decoration and elaborate upholstery to working locks and tiny silverware.

The power of film unlocks hidden dimensions within one of Nostell’s most visually formidable treasures, the Thomas More painting, with a specially commissioned video revealing stories of its symbolism and how it came to be at Nostell.

A new assembly of five of Nostell’s most treasured paintings invites visitors to view several of history’s most iconic artists through a fresh lens, including a masterpiece by 18th century ‘global celebrity’ Angelica Kauffman capturing her moment of career choice between the arts of music and painting.

Hidden compartments add to the majesty of one of Nostell’s most elaborate treasures – a 17th century cabinet fit for a king. A place to hide precious objects, the piece is an example of French flamboyance possibly created by Pierre Gole, furniture maker to Louis XIV.

Nostell’s interiors

The design and décor of Nostell’s interiors are also a work of art in themselves. Over two generations, the Rose family of plasterers crafted superb plaster ceilings for the house. The vibrant Rococo designs of James Paine with motifs taken from nature were later joined by the more sober Neo-classical decoration of Robert Adam which used geometric shapes and ornament taken from Roman and Greek archaeology. See if you can spot the difference as you walk through the rooms of the house.

The exterior of the mansion at Nostell Priory and Parkland on a damp day in winter

Discover more at Nostell

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

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The history of Nostell 

Step back in time and discover the history of Nostell Priory in West Yorkshire, built by the Winn family to advance their social status.

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Exploring the estate at Nostell 

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Things to see in the gardens at Nostell 

Discover edible delights in the kitchen garden, unwind beside the orangery or escape to the menagerie garden before exploring the winding paths of the pleasure grounds.

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Nostell's collection 

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Eating and shopping at Nostell 

Visit the Courtyard Café with its range of seasonal treats, then head to the National Trust shop, where there’s a range of products inspired by the places we care for.

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Volunteering opportunities at Nostell 

From conservation projects to keeping the garden spic and span through the seasons, there’s a lot to get involved in at 18th-century Nostell.

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Houses and buildings 

Historic buildings are a treasure trove of stories, art and collections. Learn more about their histories and plan your next visit.

Visitors outside the 18th-century mansion at Nostell Priory

Houses and buildings in Yorkshire 

Discover Yorkshire's history with visits to the grand halls of Nostell, East Riddlesden and Nunnington, while the ruins of Fountains Abbey will give you a different perspective.