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“What a lovely place!”

Nostell Priory and Parkland
Ranked #6 of 49 things to do in Wakefield
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 18th-century architectural masterpiece with landscape park and gardens, built on the site of a medieval priory, Nostell has been the home of the Winn family for 300 years. Commissioned by Sir Rowland Winn in 1733, James Paine built the house. Later additions by Robert Adam created exceptional interiors.Visitors can explore 121 hectares (300 acres) of parkland with a range of walks and views. Gardens include lakeside walks, a newly planted orchard and an adventure playground.Inside the house, see a collection of Chippendale furniture made specially for Nostell. Paintings by Brueghel, Hogarth and Kauffmann. A John Harrison (Longitude) longcase clock and an 18th-century dolls' house. The restored Butler's Pantry is also open to view this year.Don't miss find the mouse in the 18th-century doll's house. Discover masterpieces by Chippendale, John Harrison and Brueghel. Enchanting menagerie garden, pleasure gardens and developing vegetable garden. Wear the children out on the play trail. Lose yourself in the extensive rolling parkland. Take a guided walk through the park - Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays
Reviewed October 22, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon at this terrific house with its amazing decoration, furniture, pictures and lovely, helpful - and enthusiastic - guides. We usually prefer gardens to houses for visits but we would not have wished to miss this treasure which is so well "presented" and just the right size for an enjoyable visit. It was very difficult to drag ourselves away from some of the sensational paintings in the house. The supporting facilities are excellent with a very good cafe

Thank Ian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nostellvoice, Manager at Nostell Priory and Parkland, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Thank-you for your recent visit to Nostell Priory and your review. We are very pleased that you thoroughly enjoyed your afternoon at Nostell. Whilst we think our gardens and parkland are just the thing for an afternoon stroll, we agree that the house is a treasure not to be missed (we are of course a little biased). It is good to hear that not only did you decide to visit the house but also that you had to drag yourselves away. Although if a reason were needed, we think that coffee and cake in our courtyard cafe would be a pretty good one. We are glad you chose to visit Nostell and hope you had a good journey home.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"national trust"
in 147 reviews
"chippendale furniture"
in 62 reviews
"nt members"
in 29 reviews
"stable block"
in 28 reviews
"dolls house"
in 27 reviews
"nt property"
in 20 reviews
"interesting house"
in 20 reviews
"john harrison"
in 18 reviews
"house tour"
in 15 reviews
"car park"
in 101 reviews
"room guides"
in 21 reviews
"courtyard cafe"
in 12 reviews
"stately home"
in 23 reviews
"the main house"
in 12 reviews
"scones"
in 33 reviews
"adventure playground"
in 28 reviews
"guided tour"
in 27 reviews
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838 - 842 of 1,062 reviews

Reviewed October 20, 2013

As you enter the Nostell estate through the main gate you are at the top of a ridge, and park there. There is a 10 minute walk down to the house, or the National Trust electric golf buggy will take you there in two. You enter under the grand outside stair case into a rather dark entrance hall at basement level and go up a floor on an internal staircase (there is a servants' lift - ask) to the main rooms on the ground floor, a series of well-furnished recently restored rooms with wonderful architectural detail in the ceilings and walls. They show not a jot of frivolity, but this is a rather male environment, as you can tell from the rather risqué dining room with its leering satyrs, naked cherubs and a half nude Ceres. Elsewhere there is also an erotic Mary Magdalene, hung too high to see properly. Further, more feminine rooms are upstairs on the first floor, including a lady's boudoir.

There is a lot of furniture, including more Chippendales than I have seen before - even the chairs in each room for visitors to sit on while they admire the collection are Chippendales, the first time my commoner's bottom has sat upon such aristocratic seats.

The highlight of the visit for me was the impressive collection of art, starting in the entrance hall with a very large painting of Thomas More and his family, a contemporary copy by Rowland Lockey of a Holbein painting now destroyed by fire. (It is hung on a wall that is too small, is badly lit and the light from the door reflects off it so as to make it difficult to see, but it is a fine painting, worth studying; Holbein was manifestly great at portraits but not at dogs.) The highlight of the collection was a self portrait by Angelica Kauffmann, in which she chooses painting over music as her life's interest. It looks as if it has recently been cleaned, with William Hogarth's Scene from Shakespeare's The Tempest (apparently also newly cleaned and now rehung is a new location - the printed room guides are inaccurate). The most valuable picture is the highly detailed The Procession to Calvary by Pieter Brueghel the Younger. It is hung where you can stand close and examine the detail which unfolds like a comic strip from left to right across the picture. There are some optimistically attributed Rembrandts. They are dark, gloomy and the subject matter is hard to make out, because they are not yet cleaned after their recent acquisition by the National Trust: that shows what the curators think of their authenticity. Other treasures include a longcase clock by John Harrison (of "Longitude" fame), an astonishing library of 7000 books (but of course you can do no more than admire their spines in the library) and an extraordinarily detailed 18th-century doll's house, furnished down to textiles and cutlery, used (it was said) to teach daughters how to run a household.

I spent an absorbing two and a half hours going round the house, twice, and did not exhaust the collection of art and furniture. I had no time to tour the grounds. I want to go back.

Thank Cassini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nostellvoice, Manager at Nostell Priory and Parkland, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Thank-you for leaving us a review of you recent visit to Nostell Priory. We are glad to hear that you had such an interest in our art collection and other treasures. It is a shame that you did not get chance to tour our grounds, we would definitely like to see you again on your next visit “up north”. We can see why you found the environment in some areas rather male and we agree that we also have some more feminine rooms. We think you’ll agree that the beautiful ceiling in our top hall has more than a hint of wedding cake about it. We have taken yours and the comments of other guests on board and you may be interested to know, that we are just finalising our plans for the relocation of our Lockey to an area in the house that will be more fitting for it, making it much easier to study. Should you visit us again, it would be lovely to hear your thoughts on its new location.

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Reviewed October 17, 2013 via mobile

The room steward volunteers at Nostell Priory are the friendliest,most knowledgeable and interesting team that I have met at any of the National Trust housrs.

2  Thank Chuffinghog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nostellvoice, Manager at Nostell Priory and Parkland, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Thank-you for taking the time to let us know about your recent experience at Nostell Priory. We are very grateful to our volunteers; we simply would be unable to deliver the same experience to our guests without them. It’s lovely to hear that you found them both friendly and knowledgeable. Many of our volunteers, who are involved in our tours and talks, spend a lot of their own time researching Nostell and we’re sure that you’ll agree that they know some really interesting facts and show great pride in our beautiful house, its collections and its history. We will certainly pass on your kind comments to the team. Thank-you once again.

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Reviewed October 8, 2013

Made our second use of our National Trust card at Nostell Priory. I had not been here for a couple of years and it was great to return here. The weather was glorious and the walk down towards the house from the car park is very impressive. Looked around the house first and the guides in each room were extremely knowledgeable and able to provide a much greater insight (although my partner found them too intrusive). The house takes more than a good hour to peruse. The adventure playground kept the kids entertained for quite some time, but we were running out of time so did not get the chance to walk around the gardens and lakes (this will have to be done on the next visit). Despite reading previous reviews on here of the cafe, we decided to give it a go and it was simply okay, but nowhere near as horrid as some previous reviews suggest. Ended the day with a walk of the parkland and it was a fantastic finish to the day.
Will definitely be coming back with our annual membership of NT, but would recommend to anyone wanting to visit to arrive a lot earlier in the day in order to do it all at a much more relaxed pace in order to see everything. The house interior looks a lot more impressive than when I last visited about five years ago.

Thank Joseph H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 6, 2013

Nostell is probably our nearest National Trust house, and definitely one of our favourites. On a grey day, the house was welcoming - the guided tour (free) excellent, the room stewards friendly and knowledgeable and the house itself has real treasures, especially the paintings and Chippendale furniture.

The courtyard area is looking lovely after all the work on it. Lunch in the cafe was very good - I've been a bit worried about the poor catering at various NT properties recently - and it was a reasonable price too.

Just a lovely day out!

Thank Claribelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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