Spotlight on: Highlights of Nostell Priory

A few months ago saw the launch of the National Trust Collections website. The website holds details of almost every item within the National Trust and all of our properties. It means that you can see what treasures we hold in our properties from the comfort of your own homes!

Here’s the all important link: You can also see highlights from individual properties, including Nostell. These ‘highlights’ are what are considered the foremost pieces in a property’s collection.

To see all of Nostell’s highlights together, follow this link:,-West-Yorkshire-(Accredited-Museum)/1

Can you guess what we’ve included in the highlights of Nostell Priory?

We have chosen a mix of paintings, furniture, and a cabinet. The highlights are listed below (in no particular order). If you click on each link it will take you to the web page for that particular object, so you can read about it in more detail. Don’t forget to vote in the poll at the bottom of the page for your favourite highlight!

1. The Hongs Bowl

Hongs Bowl

2. The Dolls’ House

Dolls’ House

3. Lady’s writing table

Lady’s writing table

4. Medal Cabinet

Medal cabinet

5. John Harrison clock

John Harrison clock

6. Barometer


7. Brueghel’s The Procession to Calvary


8. Lockey’s Sir Thomas Moore and his Family


9. Hugh Douglas Hamilton’s Sir Rowland Winn, 5th Bt (1739 – 1785) and his Wife Sabine Louise d’Hervart (1734 -1798) in the Library at Nostell Priory

Hugh Douglas Hamilton

10. Hogarth’s Act 1, Scene 2 of The Tempest by William Shakespeare


Do you agree with our highlights? You may have your own favourites from Nostell that you would like to see included. Let us know! Vote in the poll below and find out if your favourite object is the same as everybody else!

So go on, check out the links to have a look at our collections online – it may inspire you to come and see the objects in real life!



Up, up and… onto the scaffolding!

Hanging Pictures at Nostell Priory – A Play In Two Acts

Scene: Four paintings need to be hung up at Nostell Priory. This may sound fairly straightforward, but two of the paintings are quite large and unwieldy, and the second two are high up at the head of one of the main staircases. This calls for an elite group of people, namely Nostell Priory’s conservation and house team (cue inspirational music)!

Act 1

Character: Wooded Alpine river landscape, with figures and cattle on a road, by Gaspard Dughet, known as Gaspar Poussin (c. 1615-1675)

Character: Scene from The Tempest by William Shakespeare, by William Hogarth (c. 1736)

Erecting the stage (or rather the scaffolding) in the Small Dining Room

Theatre handyman and stage technician Maurice prepares chains to assist in the hanging of the paintings

Poussin’s painting takes centre stage as it moves into position

Carefully ensuring that the play goes on without any hiccups, the well-rehearsed script is followed to the letter

Drama unfolds as Angie awaits the result of Act 1 – will the play be a comedy, tragedy, or romance?

To the relief of all Hogarth is safe on the wall, and is propped up by many eager stagehands as the final securing of the painting takes place

The finished set – two main theatre stars with four adoring fans on each side

Act 2

Scene: The play moves to an area outside the main auditorium. The stage is erected again, but this time is much higher as the paintings which need to be hung are very high up the wall.

It’s a team effort for the stagehands to erect the scaffolding

The view from the balcony (or rather, the view from the second floor staircase). Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou?

A moment of comedy and laughter within the play by the three court jesters – who says we don’t enjoy our job?

Awaiting the ‘curtain up’ moment (and awaiting the next painting to hang)

Concentration captured on camera as the portrait of Andrew Marvel (unknown artist, mid 17th century) is lifted up through the scaffolding

Marvel is put into position by two budding actors as the understudy waits patiently underneath

The finished masterpiece – what a show!

Applause and curtain calls as four paintings have been successfully hung by a group of budding thespians, watched by a rapt audience. The End!