The Attingham Summer School 2019

July 4-21, 2019

Applications are closed

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 68th Attingham Summer School

The 68th Attingham Summer School, an 18-day residential course directed by David Adshead and Tessa Wild, will visit country houses in Sussex, Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire.  From WEST DEAN, the Programme will include, 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; STANDEN, an Arts and Crafts reinterpretation of the country house and BROUGHTON CASTLE, a moated and fortified manor 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 Dukes of Devonshire span more than four centuries.  Other highlights include CALKE ABBEY, with its left ‘as found’ interiors, and the crisp neo-Classical KEDLESTON HALL.

The final part of the course will explore the great estates and collections of Bedfordshire and its neighbouring counties: AUDLEY END, the palatial Jacobean house of the Earls of Suffolk, later remodelled by Robert Adam; the complex landscape gardens of STOWE; the rich Palladian interiors and collections of WOBURN ABBEY, the seat of the Dukes of Bedford; and WIMPOLE HALL, with its Baroque chapel and library designed by James Gibbs for the bibliophile 2nd Earl of Oxford.

Throughout the course, lectures, seminars and discussions will be held on all aspects of the country house including, conservation and restoration, display and interpretation. Several private houses and collections will also be visited.

Enrollment and Fees

The Summer School is for qualified early and mid-career professionals, established experts, and dedicated collectors who can contribute from their professional experience. The course is academically and physically rigorous. A Selection Committee comprised of former Attingham course participants will select 24 individuals from applications submitted by U.S. residents.

The course fee, which includes the U.S. handling fee, is $5,830. The fee includes tuition, accommodation, most meals, admissions and travel by private coach. Not included in the fee are airfare, guidebooks, most alcoholic beverages, laundry and incidentals. You must arrange for your own health insurance coverage while you are on the course, and it must be noted that this course is intensive and physically strenuous.

Please see below to submit an application. Please email Mary Ellen Whitford ( if you have any queries while completing the form.


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.

Application deadline: January 29, 2019

The Attingham Summer School 2019 Application Form and Instructions for US-based Applicants

American Friends of Attingham Scholarship Form