The Attingham Summer School 2023


July 1-16, 2023


Since its foundation in 1952, THE ATTINGHAM SUMMER SCHOOL has enjoyed outstanding success and is highly regarded by museums, universities and historic preservation societies throughout the world for its careful selection of members, and sustained academic standards.

The School has three main purposes:

  • To EXAMINE the architectural and social history of the historic house in Britain and its gardens and landscape setting.
  • To STUDY the contents of these buildings – their paintings, sculpture, furniture, ceramics, silver, textiles and other applied arts – as well as the planning, decorative treatment and use of the interiors.
  • To STIMULATE debate on problems relating to the conservation and presentation of the country house and its contents.


The 70th Attingham Summer School

The 70th Attingham Summer School, a 16-day residential course directed by David Adshead and Tessa Wild, will visit country houses in Sussex, Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. From West Dean, our first base, we will study, amongst other houses and gardens: the complex overlays of Arundel Castle, the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Norfolk; Petworth House, where the patronage of great British artists such as Turner and Flaxman enrich its Baroque interiors; Uppark, a Grand Tour house and Standen, an Arts and Crafts reinterpretation of the country house.

In the Midlands a series of related houses will be examined: Hardwick Hall, unique amongst Elizabethan houses for its survival of late 16th-century decoration and contents; Bolsover Castle, a Jacobean masque setting frozen in stone; and, Chatsworth, where the collections and gardens of the Cavendishes and Dukes of Devonshires span more than four centuries. Other highlights include the superb collections and landscaped gardens at Boughton House – ‘the English Versailles’ – and Robert Adam’s crisp neo-Classical interior of Kedleston Hall.
Based in Norwich, the final part of the course will explore the estates and collections of Norfolk, a coastal county of rich contrasts and exceptional houses.  Our itinerary will include Blickling, the fine Jacobean house of Sir Henry Hobart and later of the Earls of Buckingham, renowned for its Long Gallery and outstanding library; Felbrigg Hall, a 17th-century house with important Grand Tour collections and mid-18th-century interiors by James Paine and Houghton Hall, the great Palladian country seat of Sir Robert Walpole the first ‘Prime-Minister’, with its unrivalled work by William Kent. We will also travel to Cambridgeshire to study Anglesey Abbey: built as a monastic foundation, the estate was purchased in 1926 and extensively re-modelled by Huttleston Broughton, 1st Baron Fairhaven, to house his important collection of art, books and sculpture. 


Enrollment and Fees

The course fee for this residential course is $6,100. The fee includes accommodation, breakfast, dinner and most lunches. Participants are strongly advised to insure against cancellation, as no refunds will be made following payment, unless the place can be filled by another suitable candidate.  

Tuition, admissions and travel by private coach during the course are also included. Accommodation is in standard university accommodation but all bedrooms are for single occupancy and have en-suite facilities. Not included is the costs of drinks, laundry, guide books and membership of the National Trust/Royal Oak Foundation, which is obligatory. 


The deadline for applications is January 29, 2023. All candidates will be notified by the end of March 2023 if they have been awarded a place. 

The Attingham Summer School Application Form and Instructions for US-based Applicants

Deadline: January 29, 2023


In addition to general enrollment, some scholarship assistance is available for qualifying candidates thanks to the generosity of various individuals and charitable organizations.

Any candidate wishing to apply for a scholarship must complete the scholarship application form below. Please follow the instructions on the form to apply for financial assistance. 

American Friends of Attingham Scholarship Form