PooleKingston Lacy House
National Trust
Nr Wimborne Minster
Dorset BH21 4EA
 
 
Kingston Lacy is an elegant 17th century country mansion set in a formal garden and extensive parkland. Over several centuries the Bankes Family amassed an amazing collection of antiquities and Old Master paintings. The rooms themselves are works of art not to mention their priceless furnishings.
 
The Bankes Family are renowned for their devotion to the Royalist cause during the English Civil War (1642-51). In 1634 King Charles I sold Corfe Castle (a strategically important fortress) to his Attorney-General Sir John Bankes. A year later, Sir John bought the Kingston Lacy estate.
 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Expedia here:    External Link
 
Corfe Castle was besieged twice but it fell to the Parliamentary forces in 1646 despite the valiant efforts of Sir John’s widow, Lady Mary to hold it. She escaped in disguise clutching the keys to the castle. These very same keys can be seen hanging over the fireplace in the Library.
 
The Bankes Family remained homeless until the monarchy was restored in 1660. In 1663 King Charles II knighted Sir John’s son, Ralph for the family’s loyalty. Once again in favour, the Bankes’s set about building a new home at Kingston Lacy.
 
Collection of 'Old Masters' paintings
Each successive heir has left his mark on the house. The wonderful collection of Old Masters is thanks to Ralph. This outstanding collection of paintings includes works by Robens, Van Dyck, Titian and Brueghel.
 
Henry Bankes the Younger transformed the house in the 1780s by adding a Library and Saloon. He also removed much of the old formal garden in favour of extending the parkland.
 
Between 1835 and 1841, William John Bankes, Henry’s son, employed Sir Charles Barry to re-design Kingston Lacy as a Venetian Renaissance palazzo, complete with a cupola and grand marble staircase. He also encased the 17th century red brick building in stone.
 
Egyptian Antiquities Display
William John was a pioneering explorer, artistic and mischievous, and returned from his travels in Egypt with a huge collection of antiquities now displayed in the Egyptian Room. The extraordinary gilded Spanish Room was built to house his Spanish art collection which includes a number of Murillos.
 
Gardens and Estate 
The house and estate was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1981 which has chosen to display the house as it was in Edwardian times. The Edwardian Japanese garden has recently been restored to its former glory. The woodlands are carpeted with snowdrops in January and February, and bluebells in early April.
 
The estate covers 8,000 acres and incorporates historic Corfe Castle, much of the Isle of Purbeck and Dorset coastline, the Iron-Age Fort of Badbury Rings and the beautiful Beech Avenue along the B3082 road.
 
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:    External Link
 
Opening Hours
Limited days during winter and spring.
Monday – Sunday during summer.
Check the National Trust website for times
 
Admission Costs
National Trust members free
Check National Trust website (below) for entry ticket prices.
 
Disabled Access
Website   Wheelchair Access Restricted in the building
Loose gravel paths in the gardens.
Disabled Toilets are available.
Access to the shop and restaurant
 
Facilities
Free parking except at Badbury Rings on Point to Point race days
The Stables Restaurant is licensed and has roast beef lunches on Sundays.
National Trust shop.
Toilets.
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone   +44 (0)1202 883 402
Mail   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website   Kingston Lacy House    External Link
 
Getting There
- By Car
On B3082 Blandford–Wimborne road, 1½ miles (2.4 Km) West of Wimborne Minster 
 
Google Map - Kingston Lacy House