Treasures abound at Kingston Lacy, home to the Bankes family for over 300 years. Paintings by Old Masters jostle for attention, while superb ceiling paintings draw your eye skywards. Outside yet more beauties await, from grand avenues, formal parterres and a beautifully restored Japanese Garden to picturesque parkland and an historically rich rural estate.
Art lover and intrepid traveller William John Bankes commissioned Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament, to transform his family home into an Italianate palazzo. Even when forced into exile in the later years of his life, William continued to send instructions relating to the decoration of his home, which now stands as a testament to his passion for art and interior design. Kingston Lacy features masterpieces by Rubens, Van Dyck, Titian and Brueghel and the largest private collection of Egyptian artefacts in the UK. Other members of the Bankes family also play key roles, such as Edwardian beauty Henrietta, who helped shape the rich and varied gardens.
This new guide tells the story of the Bankes family while providing a lively tour of the home and gardens they created at Kingston Lacy. It also explores the wider parkland and vast surrounding estate, which includes the Iron Age fort of Badbury Rings. Richly illustrated, the book is accompanied by a family tree, floorplans and bird's-eye views of the house, garden and estate.
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