Calne Travel Guide

  • Rhododendron walk, Bowood, Calne, Wiltshire
    Rhododendron walk, Bowood, Calne,...
    by SallyM
  • Bowood House
    Bowood House
    by SallyM
  • The terrace
    The terrace
    by SallyM

Calne Things to Do

  • SallyM's Profile Photo

    by SallyM Updated Jun 1, 2014

    Bowood has been the home of the Lansdowne family since 1754, when the estate was purchased by the 1st Earl of Shelburne. At this time the house was unfinished, and he employed Henry Keene to complete the building with a grand portico and a service complex. During the 1760s, the second Earl (later Prime Minister and first Marquess of Lansdowne) employed the architect Robert Adam to improve the interior of the house, and build the magnificent Orangery. At this time the two buildings were separate, but large drawing room was later built to connect them.

    The family fortunes subsequently declined. By the end of the nineteenth century, the family lived in the 'little house' and only used the main building for entertaining. After the second World War, the 'big house' was so dilapidated that it was demolished, and the 'little house' was converted into a family home.

    Visitors enter through the Orangery, which is now used as a gallery to display the family collection of paintings and sculpture, the chapel, the library, the sculpture gallery, and exhibition rooms containing family artefacts, including an Albanian costume once owned by Lord Byron, and a number of Napoleonic treasures which came into the family through the wife of the fourth Marquess.

    Visitors can also see the room that was formerly the laboratory where Dr Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) a friend of the first Marquess, discovered oxygen gas on 1 August 1774.

    The grounds were landscaped by 'Capability' Brown, and include a lake with Doric Temple and a cascade. The rhododendron walks are open for a limited period during the flowering season and are reached via a separate entrance.

    There is an adventure playground and soft play area for young visitors. Small children may also enjoy 'Tractor Ted's Little Farm'.

    Admission costs £10.75 for adults. Members of the Historic Houses Association are admitted free of charge (maximum 5 visits per year).

    Bowood House The terrace Gardens, Bowood Mausoleum, Bowood Rhododendron Walk, Bowood
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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  • uglyscot's Profile Photo

    by uglyscot Written Jun 30, 2009

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I like finding good examples of thatch, so just had to stop to snap this thatch roofed structure that looks like a well.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Arts and Culture

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  • joanj's Profile Photo

    by joanj Updated Sep 26, 2004

    If you are in the vicinity of Calne, Wiltshire then a good family day out would be to visit Bowood House and Gardens.

    For the children there is the famous Adventure Playground where there is a life size pirate ship to explore, complete with rigging, slides, chutes, trampolines high level rope-walks, and lots more to keep the children occupied. (age limit of 13 yrs. and under),

    Bowood house is the family home of The Earl and Countess of Shelburne.

    The house and gardens are open from 1st. April - 1st November 11a.m. - 6pm (or dusk), whichever is sooner.

    Dogs are not allowed.

    There is a licensed restaurant, and garden tearooms if you require refreshments.

    Places to wander around are:=
    The Orangery - designed by Robert Adam as a Georgian Geenhouse for orange and lemon trees., It is now a picture gallery.

    The Chapel, designed by Sir Charles Cockerell and still used today for special services.

    The Laboratory - is the actual room where Dr. Joseph Priestley made his historic discovery of oxygen.

    The Adam Library, houses some 5,000 leather-bound volumes, and a collection of Wedgwood vases dated 1813.

    The Sculpture Gallery- furnished with 16th century Flemish tapestries and the celebrated Lansdowne marbles.

    The Exhibition Rooms - a collection of family heirlooms from Georgian times to the Indian Raj. Collections of porcelain, family costumes, including a gift from Lord Byron, Queen Victoria's marriagechair, the glittering Keith Jewels and watercolours including work by J.M.W. Turner.

    You can also explore the parkland, terraced rose garden, tranquil lake, Arboretum and Pinetum, Doric Temple, Cascade Waterfall, and Hermit's Cave.

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  • uglyscot's Profile Photo

    by uglyscot Updated Jun 30, 2009

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We were attracted by the old building and could see many groups sitting outside in the garden, so as we were thirsty after driving for a few hours, we thought the advertised freshly made lemon juice sounded attractive,
    Inside was dim and atmospheric, and busy with people drinking and eating. There was a steady flow of people ordering food, so I had to wait to be served.

    I have discovered that this was voted Pub of the Year

    Favorite Dish: The freshly made lemon juice was very refreshing. and not too sweet. A glass cost £2.

    Lansdowne Arms
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Road Trip

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