Kingston Lacy

sights / Other

Kingston Lacy information

house adult/child £11.70/5.85, grounds only £6.30/3.15
Opening hours
house 11am-5pm Wed-Sun, grounds daily mid-Mar–Oct
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This is Dorset's must-see stately home. Looking every inch the setting for a period drama, it overflows with rich decor, most famously in the Spanish Room, which is smothered with gold and gilt. Other highlights are the hieroglyphics in the Egyptian Room and the elegant marble staircase and loggia. Artworks include the overwhelming ceiling fresco The Separation of Night and Day , by Guido Reni in the library, and paintings by Rubens, Titian and Van Dyck.

The house became the home of the aristocratic Bankes family when it was evicted from Corfe Castle by the Roundheads; look out for the bronze statue of Dame Mary Bankes in the loggia – she's shown still holding the keys to her much-loved castle in her hand. In the extensive landscaped grounds, hunt out the restored Japanese Tea Garden and the Iron Age hillfort of Badbury Rings.

Kingston Lacy is 2.5 miles west of Wimborne off the B3082.