One of the grandest survivors of the Palladian era, Houghton Hall is a magnificent showcase of the work of architects James Gibbs and Colen Campbell, complemented by the richly ornamented interiors of William Kent, and furnished to reflect Sir Robert Walpole's growing wealth and power.
Now restored to its former glory, visitors can enjoy Houghton much as it was in Walpole's day. The Hall is currently the home of the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, Walpole's descendent, and his family.
The Hall sits within traditional parkland, which is home to a spectacular herd of white fallow deer and other exotic species.
The Award-winning 5-acre Walled Garden includes a spectacular double-sided herbaceous border, a formal rose parterre, a Mediterranean garden, and a kitchen garden with arches and espaliers of apples and pears. There are also glasshouses, a croquet lawn, antique statues, fountains and Jeppe Hein's Waterflame.
In recent years, Lord Cholmondeley has built up an impressive collection of contemporary sculptures which are displayed in the gardens and grounds. The first work to be commissioned, in 2000, was a "Skyspace" by American artist James Turrell. Since then, artworks by Richard Long, Anya Gallaccio, Zhan Wang, Stephen Cox, Jeppe Hein and Rachel Whiteread have been added. This year, 2016 a new sculpture "Dunstable Reel" by Phillip King has been added.
The Soldier Museum
Lord Cholmondeley's late father, The 6th Marquess started collecting model soldiers as a schoolboy. He was fascinated by the campaigns of the Napoleonic period, and had great knowledge of the various battle and parade formations, and of regimental uniforms. He served in the Royal Dragoons during the Second World War, when he was awarded the Military Cross, and later transferred to the Grenadier Guards for a further three years after the war. The Model Solider Collection is one of the largest personal collections in the world and totals some 20,000 models.
Houghton Hall is closed until 30th April 2017. Opening in 2017 is from Sunday 30th April until Thursday 26th October 2017 Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays only.
Private Guided Tours by arrangement and subject to availability - please contact The Estate Office 01486 628569