The Thames Valley Sights



Althorp Review

Deep in the heart of Northamptonshire sits the ancestral home of the Spencers, also known as the family home of Diana, Princess of Wales. Here, on a tiny island in a lake known as the Round Oval, is Diana's final resting place and the lakeside temple is dedicated to her memory. Diana and her siblings found the house too melancholy, calling it "Deadlock Hall." The house no longer has any Diana memorabilia or exhibits, but it does have rooms filled with Van Dycks, Reynoldses, and Rubenses—all portraits of the Spencers going back 500 years—and an entry hall that architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner called "the noblest Georgian room in the country." Two paintings by contemporary artist Mitch Griffiths stand out in complete contrast. A literary festival is held here in mid-June. On the west side of the estate park is Great Brington, the neighboring village where the church of St. Mary the Virgin holds the Spencer family crypt; it's best reached by the designated path from Althorp.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Rugby Rd., off A428, Northampton, NN7 4HQ
  • Phone: 01604/770107
  • Cost: £18.50
  • Hours: Mid-July and Aug., daily 1–5; May, Jun., and Sept., Sun., 1–5. Last entry 3:45 for the house, 4 for the grounds
  • Website:
  • Location: Althorp
Updated: 05-28-2014

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