If you are a art fan there is no better National Trust house to visit in the country other than Petworth house in surrey. One of the previous owners, George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont, was a great patron of the talented artists of his time, most notably Constable, Flaxman and Turner, which helped him to stock up his house with their beautiful art & sculptures. Come here also to see the park shaped by very well connected Capability Brown, he is admirable in that he was able to successfully convince all the richest people in the United Kingdom that their park land wasn’t good enough, and what was needed was lakes and rolling hills with strategically placed trees in order to be socially acceptable! Well done sir!
When completing the self guided tour of the house one of the last rooms you encounter is the long gallery which is stocked full of art and sculptures, so much so that we had to pop in again for a second look after the first just to absorb as much as we could into our minds and we still didn’t feel that we saw everything! Every room of the house is crammed with paintings layered often layered over beautiful wall paper, I love the eccentricity of it.
The house itself is one of the biggest that the National Trust owns and by far the most attractive. Even the little town of Petworth is endearingly quaint, and well worth a visit, it is unusually close to the house (sitting just behind) as most estates of it’s size were built far away from ‘commoners’ for privacy.
Since 1947 when 3/4 of the house was given to the National Trust the family still reside in the south wing, this has something to do with hefty death duties that are heaped onto families of wealth ;).