Since 1508, this majestic mansion has been a part of history—renowned as much for its discreet and magnificent hosting as for the historic influence of the family it has housed. John Spencer, who built the house in 1508, wrote as a stipulation in his will that Althorp must be used as a place of entertainment. It is therefore entirely in keeping with his wish that Althorp today provides the setting for events that are prestigious, polished, and hugely enjoyed. In recent years, Althorp House and Park have been the venue for some of the most high-profile, unique, and truly unforgettable occasions, including a lunch party for the late President Mandela and a sensational summer ball for President Gorbachev's and his children's charity.
This inspiring venue is a unique home with a very proud heritage and centuries of experience in entertainment. Beyond the public face seen by the tens of thousands who visit Althorp each year, the Althorp estate extends much further; visitors are invited to explore this wonderful house and discover the beautiful interiors. In the Stables Block, built by Roger Morris in 1733 in the Anglo-Palladian style, enjoy refreshments from the Stables Café, browse the gift shop, and explore seasonal exhibitions. 2018 welcomed a new exhibition called The Spencers: The History of an English Family. This beautifully thought out exhibition charts the story of the Spencer family from Medieval sheep-farmers through the dynasty of politicians and strong female figures, up to present day. The majority of items on display are normally not for public viewing. This intriguing exhibition, located in the exquisite ironstone Stables next to Althorp, illustrates 500 years of the Spencer family and their contribution to English public life.
A Family History
The Spencer family line has contained politicians, courtiers, admirals, society beauties, pioneers in charity work, gamblers, book lovers, a Passionist preacher, and even a breeder of bulls. They were all related, but as you will learn on your journey through Althorp, each Spencer was unique in time and tastes. Charles, Ninth Earl Spencer, youngest brother of the late Princess Diana and godson to Queen Elizabeth, has been in charge for just 23 of the House's 500-year history, yet has an uncompromising approach to the continual well-being of Althorp. Showcasing one of Europe's finest private collections of furniture, paintings, and ceramics, each intriguing room of this magnificent family home has a fascinating story of its own.
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