Welbeck Abbey - State Room Tours

02 December 2019

Welbeck Abbey - State Room Tours

Welbeck Abbey will be opening its doors once again in August 2020, giving visitors the rare opportunity to see inside.

Tickets are now on sale for a series of guided tours which will enable visitors to see behind the grand façade of the former residence of the Dukes of Portland. 

Welbeck Abbey was founded as a monastery in 1153 before it was acquired in 1607 by Bess of Hardwick’s youngest son, Sir Charles Cavendish. Over the next four centuries it was passed through the generations and today continues to be a private home. 

Visitors joining the tours, between 3 August and 4 September, will hear some of the stories of Welbeck Abbey’s past, while walking the corridors that have been graced over the years by royalty, aristocracy and statesmen.

Family members have included Sir Edward Harley, and the 3rd Duke of Portland, who was twice Prime Minister, and the renowned 5th Duke of Portland, who employed thousands of men to develop Welbeck through the building of houses, estate buildings and a network of underground tunnels.

Other members of the family include the 2nd Duchess of Portland, a member of the ‘bluestockings’ group and the 6th Duchess of Portland, who used her position and wealth for the greater good and, as a founder of the RSPB, is best known for her conservation work. 

The tours are run by The Harley Gallery and Foundation, a charity set up by Ivy, Duchess of Portland in 1978 to encourage the enjoyment of the arts.

Lisa Gee, Director of The Harley Gallery and Foundation, said: “The tours of Welbeck Abbey’s State Rooms give visitors an opportunity to see fine and decorative arts from The Portland Collection in the richly ornamented and highly decorative formal entertaining rooms that were developed by the Dukes of Portland and their families over the last 400 years.”