Longleat House, a masterpiece of Elizabethan architecture and home to the Marquess and Marchioness of Bath, is to reopen to visitors in April following a two-year break due to the pandemic.
The house was the first in the country to open its doors to visitors in 1949 and this is the longest period it has had to remain closed in more than 70 years.
To mark the reopening, Longleat has announced brand-new guided tours and exhibitions, taking place throughout 2022.
Ceawlin Thynn, Lord Bath said: “We are delighted to finally be able to reopen the doors to our family home after such a long time.
“Longleat is very much a family home and has been welcoming visitors from across the globe for more than four centuries.
“Indeed, Queen Elizabeth the 1st stayed at Longleat soon after its completion.
“During the closed period we have been working hard to devise a way to showcase more of what the house has to offer than ever before.
“We also want to offer visitors a more intimate and personal experience, while protecting the house and its contents for future generations to enjoy.”
From 1 April, visitors can join hour-long guided tours of the Wiltshire stately home, led by highly knowledgeable guides.
Tours will include the original Elizabethan Great Hall, spectacular 19th century interiors, the magnificent State Rooms, ornate bedrooms and ‘backstairs’ areas.
Guests will have the chance to discover one of the most significant private collections in Britain including paintings by some of history’s most prominent artists, unique furniture, tapestries, ceramics, silver and Britain’s finest collection of books.
A changing programme of small exhibitions will also give visitors the opportunity to see special items which are not normally on permanent display, including material from the Longleat Archives and some of the 44,000 books kept in seven libraries.
To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a new exhibition tells the story of the 6th Marquess of Bath’s extraordinary decision to travel to the 1953 coronation in the Longleat State Chariot.
The Robes Corridor will showcase the wedding dress worn by Emma, Marchioness of Bath at her wedding to Ceawlin, Marquess of Bath in 2013.
The stunning gown, by couture wedding dress designer Angelina Colarusso, will be displayed alongside a portrait of Lady Bath wearing the dress by renowned artist Paul Benney.
NEED TO KNOW: Guided House Tours are available as add-on experiences to Day Ticket/Annual Pass holders. They cost £3.95 adult / £2.95 child (with Day/Group Day Ticket) and £3.15 adult / £2.35 child (with Annual Pass) and must be booked in advance either online or on the day via Longleat's Guest Services.
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