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A Tour of the Althorp House Art Collection

Situated in the heart of Northamptonshire, Althorp House is one of the most magnificent stately homes in Britain. Since the sixteenth century it has been the home of the Spencers, a family with a prestigious history that only a handful of ménages can match. Charles I, Sarah Churchill, Winston Churchill and Princess Diana – just a few famous figures from this family. Although Althorp House had been a prominent stately home since the late 1600s , it was significantly remodelled in the eighteenth century by Henry Holland, one of history’s most famous architects. At the same time the magnificent park that surrounds the House was designed by Capability Brown, ‘England’s greatest gardener.’ Aside from its architecture and surrounding landscape, one of Althorp’s greatest treasures is its impressive art collection – one of the biggest and best in private hands in Europe that includes works by Rubens, Reynolds and Van Dyck. In the Atrium alone, giant canvases depicting prestigious rural activities greet anyone visiting the stately home. Yet this is merely the beginning. Elaborate portraits of various noble individuals are dotted throughout the house, from famous English generals (including Oliver Cromwell, a famous foe of the Spencers) to the sole surviving portrait of the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey. The collection is a treasure trove of history. In this episode, Dan takes a tour of the impressive Althorp house and discovers more about the illustrious history of the Spencers, a family never far away from the beating heart of British life. Snow on the Road is a History Hit TV Original series where Dan visits Britain’s best historical sites.

 Read more Read less Duration: 15 min