From the splendour of Arundel Castle and the Roman City of Chichester to stunning countryside and coastal routes the area offers something for all visitors

Petworth House

Petworth House and Park, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 9LR

Petworth House and Park has a rich and varied history waiting to be discovered.  Stroll through the state rooms saturated with internationally important paintings by artists such as Van Dyck, Reynolds, Titian and Blake together with classical and neo-classical sculptures.  Follow in the footsteps of JMW Turner who spent long periods at the House under the patronage of the 3rd Earl of Egremont, and whose paintings of Petworth Park can be seen at Petworth today.

The servants’ quarters by contrast offer a glimpse of life ‘below stairs’. Imagine the hustle and bustle of servant life in the Historic Kitchens and myriad ancillary rooms.

The landscape gives every impression of being totally natural but in reality nothing is further from the truth. The Park was transformed in the 1750s and early 1760s by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. You can discover more about ‘Capability’ Brown at Petworth throughout 2016 as we celebrate his legacy with events, talks and exhibitions.

Petworth House

Petworth in the 1690s was a very different place. Charles Seymour the 6th Duke of Somerset, employed the royal gardener George London to design a formal landscape in front of the mansion, complete with ramparts, terraces, parterres, an aloe garden and summer house. However when Daniel Defoe visited Petworth in the 1730s he complained ‘its front has no visto answerable, and the west front look’d not to the parks or fine gardens, but to the old stables’. Likewise, Jeremiah Milles in the 1740s considered the mansion ‘situated in a bad place and frontes to a view that presents nothing’.

Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont inherited Petworth in 1750 and commissioned ‘Capability’ Brown, (so named because his clients were assured that their landscapes had ‘capability’ for improvement) to redesign the formal landscape so disliked by his contemporaries.

Petworth Grounds

Over four commissions throughout the 1750s, Brown swept away the traditional features. The Upper Pond was created along with the smaller Lower Pond further north. In 1762, the original road from Petworth to Tillington, which passed within 50 feet of the house was moved to its present position 0.75 miles south. New carriageways were constructed to offer visitors momentary glimpses of the house through the newly planted trees, so that the full splendour could be admired on arrival from the north side. Brown also added his signature features such as the Ha Ha and the Ionic Rotunda.

This year Petworth has launched a year long celebration of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the 300thanniversary year of his birth. Join us throughout the year for exhibitions, events, lectures and family adventures.

Chichester Cathedral
Chichester City Walls
Arundel Castle
Goodwood House
Uppark House
St Johns Chapel
Petworth House
Boxgrove Priory

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