The Attingham Summer School 2024


June 29 – July 14, 2024


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 71st Attingham Summer School

The 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’.

Based in Salisbury, the final part of the course will explore the estates and collections of Dorset and Wiltshire. Our itinerary will include Wilton House, the fine Palladian seat of the Earls of Pembroke, renowned for its state rooms and outstanding art collection; Henry Hoare II and Henry Flitcroft’s magnificent garden at Stourhead, the superlative example of the 18th century English landscape garden style; and Kingston Lacey, home of the collector, traveler and pioneering Egyptologist William John Bankes, who spent the last fourteen years of his life in exile in Venice, from where he continued to embellish the interiors and add to his significant collections.


Enrollment and Fees

The course fee for this residential course is $6,700. The fee includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch, and most dinners. Tuition, admissions and travel by private coach during the course are also included. 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. In such cases, an administrative fee of $100 will be due. 

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 28, 2024. All candidates will be notified by the end of March 2024 if they have been awarded a place. Click the button below to begin your application. 


2024 Summer School Application

Deadline: January 28, 2024


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 by clicking the button below. Please follow the instructions on the form to apply for financial assistance. 


Scholarship Application From