Attingham Summer School

4th-21st July 2014

Since its foundation in 1952, THE ATTINGHAM SUMMER SCHOOL has enjoyed outstanding success and is highly regarded by museums, universities and historic preservation societies throughout the world for its careful selection of members, and sustained academic standards.

The School has three main purposes:

To EXAMINE the architectural and social history of the historic house in Britain and its gardens and landscape setting.

To STUDY the contents of these buildings – their paintings, sculpture, furniture, ceramics, silver, textiles and other applied arts – as well as the planning, decorative treatment and use of the interiors.

To STIMULATE debate on problems relating to the conservation and presentation of the country house and its contents.

The 63rd Attingham Summer School

Over the course of 18 days the 63rd Attingham Summer School will visit country houses in Sussex, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Gloucestershire. The Summer School begins in Sussex, based in the beautiful surroundings of WEST DEAN, latterly the home of the great Surrealist collector, Edward James, and now an educational trust, containing tapestries, furniture and Surrealist paintings. During the first week the School will visit a number of properties nearby, including ARUNDEL CASTLE, the home of the Dukes of Norfolk for over 700 years and PARHAM HOUSE combines the Baroque magnificence of the 17th century with a picturesque landscape and 18th and 19th century patronage of great British artists notably Turner and Flaxman. A visit to UPPARK asks important questions about restoration. These visits and seminars will be supplemented by a corresponding series of lectures.

The next leg of the course goes north, via the ancient seat of Lord and Lady Saye and Sele at BROUGHTON CASTLE and on to properties in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. HARDWICK HALL contains magnificent plasterwork and one of the most important collections of 16th and 17th century textiles. The most prominent visit will be two full days of unparalleled access at CHATSWORTH, giving opportunity for seminars on the collections of the Dukes of Devonshire from the 16th century to the present day, and to discuss methods of presentation and education. Other highlights include CALKE ABBEY, for study of an untouched 19th century interior and a chance to see the magnificent Neo-Classical work of Robert Adam at KEDLESTON and RENISHAW HALL, the home of the Sitwell family for nearly 400 years.

This year the School will travel west to Gloucestershire, celebrated heartland of the Arts and Craft Movement, particularly rich in houses built and furnished with a view to returning to a golden age of craftsmanship, finding inspiration in the medieval and Gothic. We plan to visit OWLPEN MANOR and RODMARTON MANOR, while ACTON COURT is a recently restored Tudor house, which retains much of its original fabric, notably a set of royal state apartments. The National Trust property, DYRHAM PARK, is an estate embellished in the late seventeenth-century with a baroque house and an array of paintings, works of art and furnishings, collected by William Blathwayte, where we shall consider the on-going development plans for the property. During this week the School will visit a number of private houses not generally open to the public, including BADMINTON with its magnificent collections of furniture and paintings, all preserved in a house which has been in the possession of only two families since the 13th century.

Enrolment and Course Fees

The cost of the 18-day residential course includes tuition, most meals, accommodation, admission to houses and travel by private coach. Not included is the cost of drinks, laundry, guide books and membership of the National Trust (UK) / Royal Oak Foundation (US). The course will disperse in Gloucestershire on 21st July.

Applications from the United States
Application forms are available at the bottom of this page or from Cheryl Hageman, Administrative Director, American Friends of Attingham, 307 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1201, New York, NY 10001, USA. Email: The cost for general enrolment, which includes the US handling fee, is $5,930.

Applications from Britain, Europe and all other countries
Application forms are available at the bottom of this page or from Meg Finnis, The Attingham Trust, 70 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EJ. E-mail: The cost for general enrolment is £3,400.

To qualify for a scholarship

Several scholarships are offered to candidates on the 2013 Summer School in addition to general enrolment.

To qualify for a scholarship, applicants should be in full-time employment in a museum or art gallery, or with a conservation body, or equivalent organisation. Alternatively they should be practising architects concerned primarily with conservation or be post-doctoral researchers with a specialism in the country house and collections, or be teachers of the fine and decorative arts. They are asked to supply a statement of financial need with their applications.

Candidates, other than those from the USA, awarded a full scholarship either wholly from The Attingham Trust, or in combination with their institution or a separate funding body, are asked to make a personal contribution of £200 to support the work of the Attingham charitable trust.

Closing dates for applications

The closing date is 31st January 2014. Completed forms must be accompanied by a statement of how attendance at the Attingham Summer School may benefit the applicant’s career, together with letters of reference in support of the application, and a statement of financial need if scholarship assistance is required.

All applicants will be notified by mid-March whether they have been accepted.To secure their places, course members should make an immediate deposit of $500/£350 (where applicable).

The balance of the fee is due without further notice by 30th April 2014. Participants are strongly advised to insure against cancellation as no refunds will be made once a place has been confirmed.

The Council of The Attingham Trust reserves the right to adjust fees if there is a substantial change in the exchange rate as these were assessed on the basis of assumptions made in September 2013. Should this prove necessary, members will be informed by 1st April 2014.

John Lewis, OBE

Annabel Westman, FSA

Elizabeth Jamieson, MA
Andrew Moore, Ph.D, FSA

Rita Grudzień

E. Clothier Tepper

Cheryl Hageman


Applicants from all countries except the United States – download PDF Application Form

Applicants from the United States – download PDF Application Form

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