Uppark, Petworth; Notes from the Road

The stately home you can see through my wildly flailing limbs may be my favorite thus far. Uppark, so named because it is quite literally “up the park,” suffered a devastating fire in 1989. The 17th century house was very nearly destroyed, save the outer walls you see behind me. The National Trust runs the property with quiet efficiency, and the thoughtful restoration of the house is nothing short of spectacular given the news footage I saw in their orientation video.  [Side note: there’s nothing more pitiful than a room full of museum professionals watching a documentary about a historic house fire. Wasn’t a dry eye in the house.]

On to Petworth:

We spent a full day at Petworth (eight hours), which makes sense when you consider the fact that I couldn’t stand back far enough to fit the whole house into a photo. Here you see Andy, Petworth’s energetic Site and Collections Manager, telling us a bit about the facade. We approached the house from the South in the very early morning; guests are generally ushered through the back entrance these days, but we got to experience the house as a 17th century visitor would have. The sun rises around 4:00 AM in England, so by 8:00 AM (if it isn’t raining) everything is bathed in a lovely golden glow. Our approach to Petworth was one of my favorite experiences so far: a herd of fallow deer dashed across our path as we hiked across the enormous lawn, Andy opened the enormous french doors to greet us, the yellow gold facade stretched 100 feet on either side, and the cool marble entrace hall took my breath away:

[Apologies for the wonky image sizing; I’m operating a very British computer. Click to enlarge and enjoy!]


2 thoughts on “Uppark, Petworth; Notes from the Road

  1. Pingback: Attingham… again? Why yes! | Hermitage Collection Connection

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