Althorp House was built in 1508 by Sir John Spencer who bought the land, and it has been home to 19 generations of the Spencer family. Showcasing one of Europe’s finest private collections of furniture, paintings and ceramics, each intriguing room of this magnificent family home has a fascinating story of its own.
The Althorp estate comprises if 13,000 acres of beautiful countryside in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Norfolk, and encompasses cottages, farms, woodlands and villages, which combine to give a rich mix of landscapes, habitats and activities. The aim is to promote a thriving rural environment, which makes a positive contribution to the local economy.
Having one family in one home for five centuries has presented many opportunities for members of the line to leave behind their mark. It is fair to say that the story of Althorp is also the story of the Spencers and vice versa. In March 1992 Charles, Viscount Althorp, became Ninth Earl Spencer and has striven to make a positive difference, by taking an uncompromising approach to the continuing wellbeing of Althorp.
Althorp is home to two festivals which take place at the start and finish of the house opening period. The Food & Drink Festival in May celebrates the best producers and suppliers in and around Northamptonshire and is full of fun and flavour for all the family. The annual Althorp Literary Festival takes place in October, and it is a unique celebration of the written word with a stellar line up of authors and celebrities.
The House is a 10-minute drive from the M1, and about an hour drive from Oxford.
From the South – Althorp House is clearly signed as you approach Northampton from Junction 16 of the M1.
From the North – Althorp House can be approached from Junction 18 of the M1. Take the first left at the roundabout and follow signs to Northampton.
From the West – Althorp House is signed from junction 1 of the A14 (westbound only). Follow A5199 to Chapel Brampton and turn off to Althorp.
The National Rail service provides trains to both Long Buckby ( 10 mins) and Northampton Train Station (20 mins) from throughout the UK. A regular service is offered from London Euston and Birmingham International. Please visit the National Rail website for more details. Upon arrival at either station, visitors use a taxi to complete the journey to Althorp House.