A dozen kilometres north-east of Bath, Corsham Court is an Elizabethan manor, home to Lord Methuen, and renowned for its interior and art collections.
Corsham is said to have been a Royal Manor for Saxon kings and formed part of the dower of the Queens of England during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. The present mansion was built in 1582 by Thomas Smythe.
Corsham was enlarged and redesigned Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in the 1760's for new proprietor Sir Paul Methuen, a prosperous cloth manufacturer and politician. Brown notably added a Gothic Bath House in the gardens.
In 1797, John Nash remodelled the north façade again in 'Strawberry Hill' Gothic-style. In the mid-19th century, architect Thomas Bellamy, commissioned by the 1st Lord Methuen, made further alterations, including the removal of some of Nash's additions.
The Methuen family, and especially another Paul Methuen (1886-1974), amassed a spectacular collection of paintings, with works by English (Reynolds, Romney...), Flemish (Van Dyck, Rubens, Jan Breughel) and Italian (Caravaggio, Guercino, Tintoretto, etc.) masters.
The house also contains splendid furniture, 17th-century Italian bronzes, Chinese porcelain and even a marble statue of 'Sleeping Cupid' attributed to Michelangelo.
Opening Hours & Admission
Corsham Court is open from 20 March to 30 September from 2pm to 5:30pm (last entry 5pm). It is closed on Mondays and Fridays. The rest of the year (except December), it is open weekends from 2pm to 4:30pm (last entry 4pm).
Admission to the house and gardens is £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. Entry to the gardens only is £2/£1.
There are guided tours of the Breakfast Room for five consecutive days in late May and late August. Tours start at 2pm and 3:30pm and cost an extra £2.
How to get there
Corsham Court is 5km south-west of Chippenham, 11min by train from Bath (£3.30).
Coming by car from London, take the M4 toward Bristol until Junction 17 for Chippenham (A350), then take the follow the signs or Corsham.