Houghton Revisited

Published: Monday 25th Nov 2013

A recent sunny but chilly Sunday saw us setting off to catch up with ‘Houghton Revisited’, an exhibition at Houghton Hall in Norfolk of the magnificent art collection of Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole.

The collection, which has been on loan this year from June until the end of November, was sold to Catherine the Great to be displayed at the Hermitage in St Petersburg and is now back in its original home for the first time in over 200 years so this was definitely an opportunity not to be missed!

Tickets are booked in advance for a specific time slot – ours were timed for a 2.30pm entry to the House so we arrived early to allow for lunch in one of the cafés (a very welcome steaming bowl of tasty soup with crusty bread) and a quick tour of the gardens before it was time for the main event.

Having never visited Houghton Hall before, I found the house itself as interesting as the exhibition and thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many masterpieces in their original setting. Some of the rooms were quite crowded with visitors from far and wide judging by the range of both English and foreign accents to be heard and there was a real ‘buzz’ about the whole place.

With so much to see and take in we found it quite a mesmerising experience but all too soon we were back outside in the chilly air as dusk was falling and climbing back into the car we turned the heater up and headed for home.

By Jacky Barstow - 25/11/13