Promotional feature: The Historic Houses Association (HHA) has launched a new online heritage trail, The Great British Art Trail, to celebrate the great works of art on display to the public at historic houses, castles and gardens.
These historic properties are a fantastic setting to unique, eclectic and often private collections. Many HHA properties have important links to artists and schools of art, with the settings of these houses and gardens inspiring and influencing their work.
Chiddingstone Castle in Kent houses a collection of 4,000 works of art and antiquities, all amassed by the same collector, featuring one of the best Japanese collections in the country to be in private hands!
At Burghley House in Lincolnshire, the stunning wall paintings are Antonio Verrio’s greatest achievement, with the Heaven Room his crowning glory. Although only painted in two dimensions onto the flat surfaces of the walls, the optical illusions created by foreshortening, perspective and masterly handling are entirely convincing and a must see for art lovers.
The Bernini Fountain in the lower terrace at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire is a model of the actual fountain in the Piazza Navona in Rome, and was given as a gift to the 1st Duke of Marlborough.
Guernsey’s Sausmarez Manor hosts a beautiful Art Park and Sculpture Garden., The latter is one of the first of its kind, and offers the opportunity to see sculpture both in the wild and in a formal setting which changes with the seasons.
Find out more about the Great British Art Trail (www.hha.org.uk/arttrail) and click on the pins to reveal the story at each property. The information sheet for each property can be downloaded and printed with the venue address and sat nav details should you wish to explore.
There are three other online trails to explore on the HHA website. On the Great British Royalty Trail you can learn more about properties which have all kinds of weird and wonderful links to our royalty – past and present. And the Great British Games Trail shows all properties with links to quirky games and sporting activities. The Historic Houses Wartime Trail commemorates the part that HHA properties have played in wartime, whether as convalescence homes or as private homes feeling the loss of family and estate workers. Touching stories include Minterne House, the property which was home to the last surviving war horse, and Woburn Abbey which was converted to a military hospital by a Duchess who acted as Officer in Charge.
If you love heritage and history why not become a Friend of the HHA? HHA Friends membership is exceptional value and entitles you to visit many of the HHA’s properties for free, as well as receiving a quarterly magazine, and invites to specially arranged tours. You will also be supporting Britain’s heritage first hand. For more information visit www.hha.org.uk
Follow the HHA on Twitter @Historic_Houses or on Facebook by searching Historic Houses Association