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Unearth some of the amazing objects featured in our spring heritage exhibition, showing some of the greatest works and artefacts in our collections. We have selected from the 2,200 objects in our archives so visitors can delve deep into Hestercombe’s paintings, drawings, sculpture, poetry, photographs, rare books, archaeological finds and many more.

The exhibition comprises seven unique galleries, which take visitors on a themed journey from the seventeenth century to the recent restoration of the eighteenth-century landscape garden. The rooms are all centred around four key themes; portraits, possessions, pictures and poetry.

Through showcasing our nationally significant collections, we can tell the stories of the people who shaped Hestercombe’s past and present, whilst we look to the future; to the artists who are inspired to explore the history and heritage of Hestercombe to make contemporary work in Hestercombe Gallery.

Hestercombe Collections Tap Credit Jon England 3
Image: One of the eight taps from the Portman Bath, dating back to 1890

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Some of the highlights include:

  • The 17th Century Warre family money chest and the original key to open it
  • A haunting portrait of the young Francis Warre before his untimely death
  • A notebook dated back to 1663, which contains the jottings of Miss Margaret Bampfylde
  • Recently acquired C. W. Bampfylde watercolours
  • Photographs revealing the eccentric jacuzzi bath of Hestercombe’s Victorian owners, the Portmans, which is still perfectly preserved in Hestercombe House
  • Teddy Portman’s Game records and the picnic set he took on his hunting trips
  • Gertrude Jekyll’s original trowel and sketchbook
  • Finds excavated whilst restoring the Elizabethan Water Garden and Victorian technologies
  • Original manuscripts and volumes from a hundred years of poetical links, or more specifically, the poetry that inspired the title of this exhibition

Throughout the exhibition we will also be giving visitors the chance to view the Portman bath - an eight-tap spray bath that we believe was one of the first 'jacuzzi' baths installed into a British home by George Jennings Ltd., who was also the inventor of the first public flush toilets. Teddy Portman bought the bath for his wife, Constance, and it was installed in the early 1890s.

Visiting days and times will be posted on social media, so make sure to follow us!


Hestercombe Collections Warre Family Chest Credit Jon England Hestercombe Collections Warre Chest Key Credit Jon England Hestercombe Collections The Portman Bath Credit Jon England 4 Hestercombe Collections The Hestercombe Sword Credit Jon England Hestercombe Collections Teddy Portmans Game Books Credit Jon England Hestercombe Collections Teddy Portman Salt and Pepper Picnic Set Credit Jon England Hestercombe Collections Portman Trunk Credit Jon England Hestercombe Collections Portman Copper pan Credit Jon England Hestercombe Collections Poison bottle Credit Jon England Hestercombe Collections Plate Fragment Credit Jon England Hestercombe Collections Milk bowl Credit Jon England Hestercombe Collections Jekyll Sketches Credit Jon England 4 Hestercombe Collections Childrens Storybook Credit Jon England

Dates & Tickets

'Things That Pass a Thousand Times': Unearthing Hestercombe's Collections in Hestercombe Gallery runs from 12th March - 15th May 2022.

Entry is by gardens admission only.

Hestercombe Gallery is open daily from 11am - 5pm.


Press

Read the full press release here.


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