Louisa Cornell

Anyone who knows me knows I would visit a stately home in England at any time of the year! There is always something to discover, always something to appreciate, always something to jot down and use in a future romance novel! However, I think if I could I would love to do a tour of English stately homes at this time of year because most of them are decked out in the most amazing Christmas finery imaginable! I don’t know that I would want to be the person responsible for decorating such large and elegant spaces, but I would definitely sign up to be an appreciative audience!

As we cannot visit these homes ourselves, I thought I might take us on a little tour of some of these homes to enjoy them in their Christmas best. We will start with my favorite stately home ever, Apsley House, which I would make a pilgrimage to every year if I could.

Of course any tour one takes with me is going to start where a musical instrument can be found. This particular instrument is the oldest surviving grand piano in the country. It was handmade in London by Americus Backers in 1772 and was owned by the first Duke of Wellington.

The Yellow Drawing Room



The Waterloo Gallery





As an added bonus, treat yourselves to this lovely podcast about the torcheres in the Waterloo Gallery. Definitely worth a listen!


They are likely very happy they did not ask me to decorate this particular statue for Christmas! I’d have been on the Naughty List for certain!

Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker’, by Antonio Canova (1757–1822), presented to Wellington in 1816 and displayed at the foot of the principal staircase at Apsley House


The Waterloo Gallery is already decked out for Christmas with the lovely red silk wallpaper. This is a handsome Christmas tree, but with those tall ceilings I might have gone for a much taller tree!

The Waterloo Gallery


The Yellow Drawing Room

Here is a better view of that amazing pianoforte and the lovely garland on the marble mantle.


The Waterloo Gallery




A longer view of the Waterloo Gallery.






Bust of Wellington Entrance Hall

Here are two views of the entrance hall decorated for Christmas. I suspect His Grace likely spent far more Christmases at Walmer Castle than he did here. However, as he was inordinately fond of children wherever the Duke of Wellington kept Christmas, he kept it very well!


Keep an eye on this space for a Christmas visit to another stately home soon!


Entrance Hall

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