Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, Warwickshire

Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, Warwickshire

A stunning mansion surrounded by Capability Brown gardens, Compton Verney in Warwickshire is home to world-class art exhibitions, museum collections, sweeping grounds and a calendar packed full of events, tours and talks.

Housing everyone from ruthless barons to unscrupulous kings’ mistresses, and from savvy tycoons to brave soldiers, Compton Verney’s thousand years of history has seen countless faces and witnessed untold tales. First mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, it was built and rebuilt, extended and refined over the subsequent centuries, until it was eventually abandoned in the 1900s. Saved from ruin, the manor was taken over by the Peter Moors Foundation in 1993 and became a nationally accredited art gallery in 2004.

These days if you visit Compton Verney, you can expect to enjoy a whole array of delights fit for all generations. As well as unique exhibitions, the manor features a number of permanent collections, including 16th-century and 17th-century art from Germany and Italy, Chinese bronze ritual objects, British folk art (the UK’s largest collection) and more. There’s a fascinating portrait gallery too, showcasing famous faces from the annals of British history, including the moon-eyed depictions of Henry VIII, Oliver Cromwell and Queen Elizabeth. 

Outside, the adventurers of your group will be eager to explore the 120 acres of stunning parkland surrounding the manor. Lovingly restored over an 11-year restoration project, the park reflects the original Capability Brown design commissioned in 1768. Featuring grassy lawns, an artificial lake, manicured shrubs, woodland belts and more, it’s not hard to appreciate the original, romantic vision of Brown who designed landscapes that could be enjoyed from all perspectives – on foot, from chuntering carriages and from little rowing boats.

True to trends, the original gardens would have been designed to cater for the Georgian’s fondness of hunting, shooting and fishing. That said, these days they offer a much more serene sanctuary for all. In fact, reed beds have even been allowed to grow around the ornamental lake to encourage local wildlife – something which Brown would not have not appreciated! As well as the gardens, the grounds’ Ice House, built by Capability Brown in 1772 has also been restored, the ‘must-have’ accessory at the time amongst leading gentry for iced goodies.

As well as the park’s trails which beckon for languid strolls, you can also birdwatch at the lake, wander around dog-friendly meadows and visit the vegetable allotment to see what’s growing. For the younger generations, the opportunity to build mini manors in the sandpit and swing and zip on the Woodland Playground may be too much to resist. Once you have finished exploring, you can conclude your trip with a visit to the gift shop or a bit to eat in the new onsite restaurant. Serving tasty local dishes, 70% of the restaurant’s ingredients are sourced within a 20-mile radius.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Cotswolds here.

Compton Verney, Warwickshire CV35 9HZ | 01926 645 500 | Compton Verney | Art Gallery and Park


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