Hatchlands Park – National Trust

1128 Reviews

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Things to do


Date of travel

September, 2016

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Travelled with

Adult family

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Hatchlands is very much the family home of the Cobbe family displaying their wonderful collection of musical instruments. This review covers the contents of the house. Unfortunately they do not allow photography inside the house so I have included links to photos on the NT website. The National Trust has also produced a short video of the house and collection “here.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey8nCViq-oY

I have written a separate reviews about its history and visiting.

Entry is through the “GARDEN HALL”:https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/images/1431741093277-gardenhall.jpg which was remodelled around 1800. This is an imposing hall with white and black tiled floor, Adams ceiling, mock marble walls and bronze statues.

The first room is the “DRAWING ROOM”:https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/images/1431741261529-drawingroomam.jpg a light airy room with pale grey walls and lots of gilt decoration round the ceiling and forming panels on the wall which are hung with family portraits. The large mirrors over the fireplace and on the wall opposite make the room feel a lot larger than it is. The Adam’s ceiling collapsed sometime during the C19th and was replaced by a plain ceiling. The curtain valances were bought from a sale at Blenheim Palace and the curtains were made to match them. There are easy chairs round the fireplace and Marie Antoinette’s square piano.

Beyond is the “SALOON”:https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/images/saloonhatchlandspark983977.jpg a sumptuous room with its deep red wall paper and marvellous Adam ceiling with crystal chandelier. The fireplace has caryatids on either side and busts and urns on top. Again there is lots of gilt decoration, family portraits and musical instruments. The two gilt tables with eagle legs are some of the original furniture acquired with the house in 1945. A large bay window overlooks Gertrude Jeykell’s garden.

This leads into the LIBRARY which is still very much in use as a family room with piles of books scattered everywhere. The flat screen TV and drinks trolley feel most incongruous. This has the most elaborate of the Adam ceilings. The roundels were left plain and the paintings were added at the instigation of the Cobbe family. Lord Rendell was responsible for painting the figures as well as all the gilt work. Tall bookcases with a cupboard at the bottom stand against the walls and have decorated China pots above them. The walls are painted green and every bare space is covered with more paintings. The clavichord is similar to those played by JS Bach.

The dining room is a very elegant room with pale walls with painted panels. These were done by the Cobbe family and are based on C18th French arabesque designs. This rural decoration is continued on the ceiling with garlands of leaves and flowers. Other panels are covered with red and gold wall hangings. There is a small square table with silver centre piece and candlesticks. The grand piano belonged to Chopin who brought it to England with him and used it for his recitals.

The STAIRCASE HALL is a large L-shaped room with the grand stairs leading up to the private family quarters. Again it has a lovely Adam’s ceiling. The rococo and classical style plaster decorations were added in the C19th. The statues are in fact casts of antique statues from the British Museum.

The “MUSIC ROOM”:http://www.visitsurrey.com/imageresizer/?image=%2Fdmsimgs%2F983956_314330977.jpg&action=ProductDetail is the last room visited and was added in the C19th by Lord Rendell to house an organ. This has mock marble pillars and a dome with a small cupola. The plaster friezes on the walls are reminiscent of Grinling Gibbon’s work. The prints on the walls are of composers and musicians, collected by Alec Cobbe as a ‘Valhalla of musical heros’ to complement his collection of musical instruments. The acoustics are excellent and the room is regularly used for concerts using instruments from the Cobbe collection. The virginal in its painted case belonged to Charles II and is one of only 24 surviving English virginals.

There aren’t many rooms to see, but those you do view are good. The musical instruments collection is a bit esoteric…I would sum this up as one of those places I enjoyed visiting but wouldn’t necessarily bother about going back.


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