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The Attingham Summer School



The Attingham Summer School 2022


This course has now been completed


Since its foundation in 1952, THE ATTINGHAM SUMMER SCHOOL had 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 2022 Attingham Summer School, an 18-day residential course, will visit country houses in Sussex, Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire and Yorkshire. From West Dean, our first base, we will study, amongst other houses and gardens: the complex overlays of Arundel Castle, the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Norfolk; Petworth House, where the patronage of great British artists such as Turner and Flaxman enrich its Baroque interiors; Uppark, a Grand Tour house; Standen, an Arts and Crafts reinterpretation of the country house.

In the Midlands a series of related houses will be examined: Hardwick Hall, unique amongst Elizabethan houses for its survival of late 16th century decoration and contents; Bolsover Castle, a Jacobean masque setting frozen in stone; and Chatsworth, where the collections and gardens of the Dukes of Devonshire span more than four centuries. Other highlights include the superb collections and landscaped gardens at Boughton House – ‘the English Versailles’; Calke Abbey, with its left ‘as found’ interiors and the crisp neo-Classical Kedleston Hall.

The third stage of the Summer School will be based in North Yorkshire and further details will be confirmed in due course.

Throughout the course, lectures and seminars will be held, and discussion stimulated on all aspects of the country house including, conservation and restoration, display and interpretation. A number of private houses and collections will be visited details of which will be available in due course.


Director, The Attingham Summer School

David Adshead, FSA

Director, The Attingham Summer School

Tessa Wild, FSA

Course Administrator

Lorna Gartside

Enrolment and Course Fees

NB. Much of the information below is applicable to non-US applicants only. US-based applicants for the Summer School must apply and enquire about scholarships through the course page on the American Friends of Attingham website.

The cost of the 18-day residential course is £4,300. This 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/Royal Oak Foundation, which is obligatory. Scholarships are available to candidates unable to pay the full fee personally or whose organisation cannot support them in full. (For applicants from Australia seeking scholarships, please refer to www.coplandfoundation.com.au before 15 November 2021).

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 2021.  Should this prove to be necessary, members will be informed by 1 April 2022.


In addition to general enrolment, several scholarships are available for candidates on the 2022 Summer School.

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.

The scholarship funding available is thanks to the generous support of various individuals and charitable foundations.  Since this amount is limited, applicants who are unable to meet the fees are encouraged to approach their institutions for full or partial financial assistance before applying for the course.  Any candidate wishing to apply for a scholarship must complete the scholarship application at the end of the form and provide details of his/her current salary.

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

To Apply

Applicants should be in full-time employment in a museum or art gallery, conservation body or equivalent organisation, practising architects concerned primarily with conservation, or be post-doctoral researchers with a specialism in the country house and collections, or teachers of the fine and decorative arts or architecture.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application during the second week of March 2022.  To secure a place on the Summer School, successful applicants are asked to make an initial deposit of £350.00 (where applicable) with the balance of the full fees payable by 30 April 2022.  Participants are strongly advised to insure against cancellation as refunds will not be payable once a place on the programme has been confirmed.

Please note when making your application that this is an intensive and physically strenuous course. There is plenty of walking, standing and climbing stairs and your fitness must be of a level that will not impact on the enjoyment of the group or take up disproportionate amounts of the organisers’ attention. You should have a good level of spoken English.  Whilst we are happy to cater for vegetarian and gluten-free needs, other specialist diets cannot always be accommodated.

Applications from the United States

The course fee, which includes the US handling fee, is on the American Friends of Attingham website.  US-based applicants must submit their applications through the American Friends of Attingham website.  For any assistance please contact Mary Ellen Whitford, American Friends of Attingham, 205 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1600, New York, NY 10016, USA.  Email: ; Tel: 001 (212) 682 6840.

Applications from Britain, Europe and all other countries

All successful applicants from the 2021 courses have been offered deferred places for 2022 and the course is currently full. Any queries for future applications can be directed to Lorna Gartside.

Please note that The Attingham Trust is a registered educational charity. Our courses are provided occasionally, on a not-for-profit basis and to a limited group of participants. This trip does not, therefore, constitute a ‘package holiday’ for the purpose of the Package Travel Regulations
Hardwick Hall photo credit: Amy Henderson

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