Petworth House explores "magical Christmas traditions"

Petworth House is promising the chance to “explore magical Christmas traditions through time this festive season.

Petworth House and Park winter reflection @National Trust Images John Miller
Petworth House and Park winter reflection @National Trust Images John Miller

Christmas at Petworth runs until January 3, 10.30am-3.30pm and includes Percy the Park Keeper's winter wander trail from December 4 to January 3, 10am-3.30pm (closed December 24 and 25)

Sarah Taylor, senior programming officer for Petworth House, said: “Travel through time to discover Christmas traditions past and future at the National Trust’s Petworth House and Park. From sparkling period costumes exquisitely fashioned from winter flowers and foliage, to mystical, magical scenes from the future, this is a Christmas experience for all ages.

“In the Pleasure Garden, families can meet Percy the Park Keeper and help him and his animal friends with their winter jobs on the family adventure trail, or come along to enjoy poetry and choir performances on set dates.

“This festive season the rooms in the art-filled Petworth House are being transformed into Christmas periods through history.

“Step into Georgian times in the Somerset and Square Dining Room, then experience the merriment of Christmas trees in the Victorian themed Marble Hall.

“See how despite the 1940s war era, families still celebrated Christmas with warmth and joy in the Little Dining Room.

“Then finally, travel through time to a fantastical future Christmas throughout the Carved and Red Room. Here you’ll see a magical contemporary Christmas themed installation and discover how families may gather to celebrate the festivities in the future.

“Christmas scenes are brought to life in Petworth House by mannequins in period costumes that are exquisitely made with outdoor foliage, including from the Pleasure Garden and Park. “Inspired by Petworth’s own history you can marvel at the magnificent outfit of Elizabeth Ilive, wife of the 3rd Earl of Egremont. Queen Victoria will also be present in her dress inspired by the drawing of the royal family in the 1848 Illustrated London News. From dried hydrangea petals, to coloured Ivy berries, waves of yew foliage, striking alliums and poppy seed heads, visitors will be amazed at how this foliage has created striking period costumes.”

Sarah added: “We’re looking forward to hearing the hum of visitors’ excited voices throughout the house as they experience Christmas at Petworth this year. It feels magical to wander round the building with all the lights and decorations and see how families celebrated Christmas through the ages.

“The floral mannequins in their period costumes are exquisite and have been carefully handcrafted following inspiration from the different time periods. The ‘future’ room is exciting to discover too, it’s something visitors might not expect.”

Last entry to the house is 3pm. No advanced booking needed, but visitors are required to purchase a ticket to the site to enter; free for National Trust members. For more details visit the Petworth House and Park website.