Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert joined a ‘snapshot’ tour group at Petworth House on Friday (4 April) to support English Tourism Week.
Mr Herbert was welcomed to the National Trust house by event manager Ian Pearce and then joined Petworth Business Association members in a tour led by guide Debbie Wright.
The ‘Snapshot’ tours run on Thursdays and Fridays at Petworth House and focus on various aspects of the house, collection and grounds when the rest of the house is being cleaned. The MP’s tour included a visit to the Old Library and the North Gallery.
The Old Library has a magnificent large window overlooking the estate and grounds and was often used as studio by the artists who stayed as guests of the 3rd Earl of Egremont. JWE Turner famously spent time at the house and painted many scenes there.
The North Gallery houses a large collection of paintings and neo classical sculpture within its three rooms.
The MP viewed artworks by Turner, Constable and Gainsborough in the gallery.
Petworth House has a rich history for visitors to discover. It has been a family home for over 800 years, and is still lived in by Lord and Lady Egremont.
Although the property was handed to the National Trust in 1947 it is both a private home and an estate for the public to explore.
Petworth House is just one of the many reasons that people visit West Sussex.
Tourism in the South East has increased, and domestic overnight trips have increased by 10 per cent over the last two years. This has generated £697m for local businesses from tourism spending and created almost 13,000 new jobs.
Nationally, tourism is England’s third largest industry and is one of the fastest growing sectors directly employing over 2 million people. It has been one of the country’s key drivers for the economic recovery of the UK.
Nick Herbert said: “It is always a pleasure to visit Petworth and see this wonderful house, its beautiful grounds and sensational art.
“We have so much to offer tourists in this country, and nowhere more so than in West Sussex with our famous houses, castles, the South Downs and seaside.
“It’s important to promote these attractions and that’s why I was keen to support English Tourism Week and this special event at Petworth.”
Pictured is Debbie Wright, Petworth House visitor guide, with Nick Herbert MP in the North Gallery in front of John Flaxman’s sculpture ‘St Michael overcomes Satan’.
Report and picture contributed by The Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP.