Petworth House

Petworth, West Sussex GU28 0AE

This splendid seventeenth-century stately home, set behind high walls in the small town of Petworth, is a house of treasures. One room houses the sixteenth-century Molyneux globe (the earliest terrestrial globe), another the Leconfield Chaucer manuscript (one of the earliest surviving editions of the Canterbury Tales), and on the walls you’ll find paintings by van Dyck, Titian, Gainsborough, Bosch, Reynolds, Blake and, last but not last, Turner, who was a frequent guest at Petworth. The house itself is just as much a work of art as its contents, in particular the Grand Staircase, decorated with murals by Louis Laguerre, and the extraordinary Carved Room, with its riot of flowers, vines and musical instruments by master wood carver Grinling Gibbons. Outside the house, seven hundred acres of parkland roll off into the distance, dotted with ponds and ancient oaks, and grazed by the largest herd of fallow deer in the country.

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