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National Trust Manor house - art collections

planning a trip to the UK for fall of 2017 hoping to visit a number of National Trust sites, looking to focus on art collections.

The art collections I view will become part of my art history lecture series. There are so many sites in the National Trust I am overwhelmed. Anyone visit a National Trust site with an art collection they can recommend.

Thank you,

Posted by
33314 posts

Paintings? Sculpture? Modern? Local or great masters? Where?

Can you narrow it down a little?

How many is "a number"? Have you explored the back 20 pages of a National Trust Handbook? Have you explored the homepage of National Trust?

Are you limiting yourself to only manor houses, a modest proportion of all NT properties?

Have you explored the webpages of each property? Those with significant collections have several pages.

Anyone visit a National Trust site with an art collection they can recommend.

I have been to dozens, but unless you narrow it down just giving a list is useless.

Have you considered the Queen's collections?

Posted by
3821 posts

In order to help you find what you are looking for I will ask.......
What is the time period of your focus, and what media?
Are you looking for family portraits of British families?
Landscape paintings by Turner or Canaletto?

To start you off, here is the home page for the National Trust website. Start browsing, and use the search box.

Posted by
73 posts

Thank you for the helpful responses to my question regarding the National Trust sites. I will be focusing on the Manor house and it's art. Paintings, Sculpture, tapestries and a local master would be wonderful additions. My audiences appreciate the stories of the old masters, so no modern. My last trip to the UK was specifically focused on the art of the Pre-Raphaelites in Oxford and Cambridge.

This time it will be on the manor house it's collections and those that collected the art. I hope to travel from London with Wales as the last stop. I've explored the National Trust website but didn't know they had a handbook. I would like to explore large houses and small manor homes. Castles would be a great addition as my husband enjoys exploring castles of all kinds, and as the driver, I hope to keep him happy.

Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.


Posted by
3821 posts

I can recommend Petworth, in West Sussex, having been there.

And Waddesdon Manor. The excellent collection that belonged to the Rothschild family.
A French chateau; not an English manor house in architectural style.

Search for "Manor houses with art collections" on their website yields over 3,000 results. Just keep browsing. Additional pages at the bottom of the opening page.

Posted by
33314 posts

A second for Waddesdon although, like Neuschwanstein, it looks much older than it is. A very fine collection indeed.

Chartwell has the paintings (and studio) of Sir Winston Churchill, without whom many of us wouldn't be here.

Yes, the National Trust puts out an annual, colour, 432 pages in 2016, handbook telling about all of their properties. Much of the information is on line but combing through the handbook, arranged by area, can be much easier and very fulfilling. I'm sure that the Royal Oak Society in NYC would be able to source one for you.

Under the index of Collections subindexed as Paintings (other subindices are Armour, Carriages, Ceramics, Costume and Fashion, Dolls, Doll's-houses and Miniature Rooms, Furniture, Glass and Silverware, Musical Instruments, and Wall-hangings, Embroideries and Needleword) are listed 44 properties.

Particular favourites of mine that may fit your needs (and of course I haven't made a study, nor have I ever come anywhere near visiting all of the NT's properties despite being an active member (includes attending Annual General Meetings) for nearly 20 years are:=

Upton House and Gardens to show what an oil magnate could accumulate

Red House, Wightwick Manor and Gardens (and a whole stand of Redwoods), Nuffield Place, and Standen House and Garden - all of which are strongly associated with William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement

Petworth House for landscapes

Polesden Lacey

Ascott, just down the street from Waddesdon Manor

I guess that Fenton House, in Hampstead, North London, wouldn't meet your criteria for Manor House, which is a shame - it is one of my favourites, so easy to get to, such fabulous ancient (and playable) musical instruments, plenty of paintings, and other decorative arts

Ickworth House for its Rotunda and Gainsboroughs and Reynolds portraits


Then, not National Trust, but most definitely a Manor House - very nearly a palace - is Woburn House with its Canalettos.

For a start.....

Posted by
33314 posts

Oh, and the tapestries at Hardwick Hall.

Posted by
4159 posts

And , if you visit Hardwick Hall , you should count on a day spent at Chatsworth , while not National Trust , it is truly spectacular , and the sculpture collection , with numerous Canovas , is breathtaking .

Posted by
4159 posts

If you wind up in North Wales , Conwy and Caernarfon , are good choices , easy drives from Llandudno which we found quite charming .