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The mansion will be closing on the 5th November but winter tours will be taking place in November, January and February which will give you the opportunity to discover more about the re-discovery of Attingham past and present. This year is the 40th anniversary of the 8th Lady Berwick’s death so we have decided to celebrate the legacy of what she and her husband achieved at Attingham. In the 1930s Lord and Lady Berwick started to make arrangements to bequeath the Attingham Estate to the National Trust and this took place in 1947, when Lord Berwick died.

Lord and Lady Berwick c. 1925

The tour will go back in time from 1972 to 1919 when the Berwicks arrived at Attingham after their marriage in Venice. They started to conserve and restore the interiors in order to bring the house back to life after a period of neglect. Many guests came to stay who helped them with the work and they also enlisted the help of the tenants on the estate. A tenants’ party was hosted by the couple in 1921 and they opened up some of the rooms for them to view.

On the East Colonnade not too far from the Orangery, there is an inscription which reads “Remember Teresa Hulton 1890-1972. Wife of the 8th Lord Berwick to whose devotion, taste and self-sacrifice we largely owe our enjoyment of the house, contents and estate of Attingham”. This is a poignant reminder of the achievements of the 8th Lady Berwick.

Lady Berwick in her garden in front of the Orangery

The 8th Lord and Lady Berwick can be considered early curators and conservators of Attingham. They purchased items to complement the house, mended textiles and carried out structural work. In 1951 Lady Berwick wrote an article in a magazine called The Townswoman in which she said “Someday others will finish what we could not”. Today the National Trust are continuing the work Lord and Lady Berwick started with the Attingham Re-discovered project.

This year the winter tours will start in the Orangery so you will be able to see the ongoing re-decoration of this space on the east side of the mansion. We are currently working to improve the appearance of the Orangery and conserve the historic fabric of the room.

Re-decoration of the Orangery – August 2012

In the 1920s Lord and Lady Berwick sometimes used the Orangery as a cinema.

The tours will take 60-75 minutes and will go through rooms on the ground floor. They will take place at 11am, 12am, 1pm and 2pm on the 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th and 25th November.  Tours will also take place in January and February; keep an eye out for details. Tours are free to members and normal admission charges apply for non-members. You are able to book the 12pm tour in advance, please phone 01743 708170 during office hours (9am-5pm), otherwise ask at Visitor Reception on the day for the other tour times.

We look forward to seeing you!