Located in the middle of nature, the impressive Althorp mansion has passed through several generations of the Spencer family. Since 1992, Earl Spencer, brother of Diana of Wales, is in charge after he inherited it. A fabulous mansion located in Northamptonshire.
The Althorp mansion and its collections
This mansion is a perfect mix of history, architecture, art and majesty. A construction full of luxurious details that is warm and welcoming, while great. Their stays are a sample of the life of generations of the same family, the Spencer, and of its connection with the English Crown.
Althrop began to be built in 1508. It is distributed on two floors in which we find a total of 90 rooms. In all of them pieces of one of the best collections of furniture, paintings and ceramics of all Europe are exposed.
Low levelEntrance to the mansion - Steve Daniels / Wikimedia Commons
A) Yes, on the ground floor you have to highlight the library, built by architect Henry Holland. It has 10,000 books, which include the remains of the private library accumulated by the second Earl Spencer, the best private library in the world at the time. Connected to the library we find the billiard room and the drawing room.
Likewise, don't miss the State Dining Room, a large dining room designed by MacVicar Anderson in the style of the Buckingham Palace ballroom. It was built within an extension of the house made in 1877 by the fifth Earl Spencer.
To this plant accessed by a large dark oak staircase and carpet on the steps. Create a gallery on both sides on the top floor where you can see portraits of the entire Spencer family.Staircase in 1822 - Wikimedia Commons
On this floor you can't miss the beautiful bedroom of the princess of Wales. Name acquired in honor of Princess Alexandra, wife of the future King Edward VII, in 1863. The Great Hall also stands out, witness to the political meetings of George John Spencer, who used it when he was part of the Admiralty and was Minister of Interior.
Another bedroom, that of oak, will tell you one of the most romantic stories of the Spencer family. This stay witnessed the secret wedding between John Spencer (later the first count) and his girlfriend, Georgiana Poyntz, on December 20, 1755. This bedroom would be the one used by Winston Churchill in 1934.
But above all, we must mention the gallery of images of Elizabethan style. It is based on another that was previously and that is as conceived by Robert Spencer, second Earl of Sunderland (1641-1702).
In this beautiful gallery of floor and walls covered with warm wood is a collection of paintings whose frames are called 'Sunderland frames', carved in Italy and Spain.
This gallery is chaired by a painting by Flemish painter Van Dyck known as War and peace. He represents the brothers-in-law George Digby, second Earl of Bristol and William Russell, first Duke of Bedford.
The gardens of the Althorp mansionDiana of Wales Memorial - james denham / Wikimedia Commons
Althorp has an area of 550 acres of land, distributed in several gardens and a small forest. In the latter, deer live and reproduce freely.
As for the gardens, the so-called Oval stands out. It is a pond next to which there is a small classic-style building dedicated to the memory of Diana of Wales. This building was a summer house that became part of the estate in 1901.
Further, highlights an imposing style building palladium, the stalls. Built between 1732-33 by Roger Morris under the instructions of the fifth Earl of Sunderland, they housed more than 100 horses. Today, an exhibition about the Spencer family can be seen here and has restaurant areas and visitor services.
Visit and activities
The Althorp mansion is the scene of multiple activities throughout the year. Thus, the Althorp Food and Drink Festival, the Craft Festival and the Literary Festival take place.
It can also be rented for events, parties and celebrations. And out of these activities, the mansion is visited almost every day of the year. So, if you have thought about traveling to this beautiful Northamptonshire county, book a day to visit Althorp.