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Longleat Safari Park

Lion at the Longleat safari park

Lion at the Longleat safari park

The Longleat House of the Longleat Safari Park is fit for a queen. Not only is the Longleat Safari Park famous for its safari park, the Longleat House is a historical home that has been visited by royalty in its history.

A House Fit For Royalty

Queen Elizabeth I visited Longleat House in 1574. Portraits of Charles II and his Queen Catherine are displayed in the Great Hall. These royal portraits commemorate an overnight visit that the royal couple made to Longleat House in 1663. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Longleat House in 1980.

Elizabethan Architecture

Longleat House has three storeys and each façade width is twelve windows wide. Longleat House sit amidst 900 acres of parks and gardens and is part of the entire park which contains thousands acres of lakes, forest and farmland. As the ancestral home of the Marquesses of Bath, the house is filled with beautiful furnishings and art objects that range from the 16th century to the 19th century.

There are seven libraries at Longleat House. In total, the seven libraries contain over 40,000 books that represent five centuries of writing. Over half of the books that are listed on the earliest book list can be found in the Longleat House. A 1532 edition of Chaucer’s works is in the house. There are 400 hectares of splendid gardens surrounding the Longleat House. Lancelot Capability Brown designed and created the Longleat gardens between the years 1757 and 1762.

The Longleat House has several noted rooms in it, such as the State Dining Room, which received Queen Elizabeth I in 1574 and Queen Elizabeth II in 1980. The State Dining Room has tooled leather walls and wood panels and it is decorated with paintings and tapestries. Some of the last 16th century features of the house, including the paneling, beams and chimneypiece, are located in the State Dining Room.

The State Drawing Room holds the fourth Marquess of Bath’s collection of paintings by the Italian Old Masters, such as ‘Allegory of Divine Wisdom’ by Titian. The Dress Corridor displays exquisite dresses from the 19th century. The Longleat House is filled with Old Master paintings and other incredible art objects.

History Of The Location

Built on the location where Black Canons of the Order of St. Augustine priory once stood, the Longleat House was finished in 1580. At that time, it was remarkable and it remains so because of its beautiful Elizabethan architecture. John Thynne, a kitchen clerk for Henry VII who was later knighted, bought the property in 1541.

The ‘Grey Lady’ of Longleat House

The Longleat House of the Longleat Safari Park is even rumored to be haunted by the sort of ghost known as a ‘Grey Lady’. The ‘Grey Lady’ is supposed that of Louisa Carteret, the second wife of the Viscount Weymouth. The ghost of Louisa Carteret is said to be searching for her footman who was murdered in a jealous rage by her husband, Thomas, the 2nd Viscount Weymouth. Her portrait hangs in the Lower Dining Room and carries the date of 1736, the same year that she died.

It was not until almost 1930 that Longleat House had electricity. The Longleat Safari Park opened to the public in 1966. At that time, the safari park was the first of its kind to open anywhere in the world outside of Africa. The safari park is a fantastic addition to the Longleat Estate.

Longleat House has long served up fine hospitality to its visitors, royal and not so royal. Visitors will be enchanted with the beauty inside and outside of the Longleat House. At the Longleat Safari Park, it is possible to find history, wildlife, gardens and modern entertainment.


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