our courses

The Attingham Summer School



The Attingham Summer School 2024


 29 June – 14 July 2024

This course is now closed to applications 

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 71st Attingham Summer School, a 16-day residential course directed by David Adshead and Tessa Wild, will visit country houses in Sussex, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, and Dorset. 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; Parham, a fine Elizabethan house in an unrivalled setting and 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 Cavendishes and Dukes of Devonshires span more than four centuries. Other highlights include the superb collections and landscaped gardens at Boughton House – ‘the English Versailles’.

Based in Salisbury, the final part of the course will explore the estates and collections of Dorset and Wiltshire. Our itinerary will include Wilton House, the fine Palladian seat of the Earls of Pembroke, renowned for its state rooms and outstanding art collection; Henry Hoare II and Henry Flitcroft’s magnificent garden at Stourhead, the superlative example of the 18th century English landscape garden style; and Kingston Lacey, home of the collector, traveller and pioneering Egyptologist William John Bankes, who spent the last fourteen years of his life in exile in Venice, from where he continued to embellish the interiors and add to his significant collections.


Course Director, The Attingham Summer School

David Adshead, FSA

Course Director, The Attingham Summer School

Tessa Wild, FSA

Course Co-ordinator

Sabrina Silva

Enrolment and 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 residential course is £5,200, this includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch and most dinners. Tuition, admissions and travel by private coach during the course are also included. Accommodation throughout will be in single-occupancy rooms with en-suite facilities. The standard of the accommodation varies throughout the course. Not included is the costs of drinks, laundry, guide books and membership of the National Trust/Royal Oak Foundation, which is obligatory.


The deadline for applications is the 28th January 2024.  All candidates will be notified by the end of March 2024 if they have been awarded a place. Payment of fees in full will be due 31st March 2024, and may be made by bank transfer or with a sterling cheque. Participants are strongly advised to insure against cancellation, as no refunds will be made following payment, unless the place can be filled by another suitable candidate.  In such a case, an administrative fee of £100 will be made.

Scholarships for applicants from countries other than the USA or Australia

Applicants who are unable to meet the fees are first encouraged to approach their institutions for full or partial financial assistance before applying for the course. Some scholarship funding through The Attingham Trust is available thanks to the generous support of various individuals and charitable foundations. Any candidate wishing to apply for a scholarship must complete the scholarship application at the bottom of the application form and provide details of his/her current salary.

Any queries can be directed to Sabrina Silva:

Scholarships for applicants from the USA

US Applicants seeking scholarship support should apply directly to the American Friends of Attingham using the specific scholarship form, available online at: www.americanfriendsofattingham.org/courses/summer-school

Scholarships for applicants from Australia

For applicants from Australia seeking scholarships, please refer to: www.coplandfoundation.au by 28 November 2024

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
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 November 2023. Should this prove necessary, members will be informed.
Hardwick Hall photo credit: Oscar Beisert

Contact Us

Get in touch
Send A MessageSupport Us