Nostell Priory – A Brief History
Nostell Priory takes its name from a priory dedicated to St Oswald which existed here in the 12th century. After the Dissolutiuon of the Monasteries in the 1530s by Henry VIII, the buildings were converted into a dwelling house. The property was acquired by the Winn family in 1654. The house has gone through a number of key structural changes – the most significant beginning in 1735, when the dwelling (known as ‘Nostell Hall’) was completely rebuilt on a site slightly to the north of the old priory. Sir Rowland Winn, the 4th Baronet, contracted the architect James Paine to build the new house, and he was also responsible for many of the interiors. This new mansion was the Nostell we are familiar with now.
When the 5th Baronet inherited Nostell in 1765, Robert Adam was commissioned to finish the inside in the fashionable Neo-classical style. He also designed some of the stables, lodges in the parkland, and the family wing at the north-east corner of the house (there were meant to be four wings in total, but the other three were never built).The building was named Nostell Priory (after the old religious community) which is the name we know it as today.
- Our great collection of Chippendale furniture made especially for Nostell, which ranges from library desks to chopping boards!
- Pieter Brueghel’s oil painting The Procession to Calvary, 1602, which was saved from the fire in 1980.
- The library, which is one of the National Trust’s largest and has around 7000 books.
- A John Harrison (Longitude) long case clock from 1717 which is special as all of its cogs and mechanisms are made solely from wood.
- A unique eighteenth century Doll’s House, traditionally thought to be Chippendale, which was decorated and furnished by Lady Susanna Winn
…and many more which you have to come and see for yourself!
Nostell and the National Trust
Nostell was given to the National Trust in 1954. In 1980 a fire destroyed the Breakfast Room and some of the surrounding rooms, which have since been rebuilt and decorated to original designs. 1986 saw the Chippendale furniture and many other contents transferred to the Trust. In 2002 the stable building, remaining part of the pleasure grounds and parkland were acquired by the Trust (the latter being made publicly accessible for the first time in 2003). You may also have seen the recent publicity surrounding Nostell’s acquisition of Pieter Brueghel’s painting The Procession to Calvary, 1602, which is now set to permanently reside at Nostell, where it has been hanging for the past two hundred years.