The House from an early 20th century postcard
Earlier Houses: There has been a house on the site of the current house since the Middle Ages.
Built / Designed For: Sir Rushout Cullen, Bt.
House & Family History: The current house, built in 1695 of local stone, was purchased in 1927 and remodeled between 1927 and 1929 by Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted, chairman of Shell Oil (1921–46), and son of the founder of the company. Upton and its art collection were given to the National Trust by the 2nd Viscount in 1948.
Collections: Upton contains an exceptional collection of paintings, including works by El Greco, Bruegel, Guardi, Canaletto, Bosch, Hogarth, and Stubbs. There is also a collection of tapestries, French porcelain, Chelsea figures, and 18th century furniture. Some contents were sold in lieu of tax upon the death of the 3rd Viscount Bearsted in 1986.
Garden & Outbuildings: Upton has a very fine garden, with terraces, herbaceous borders, a kitchen garden, a temple, ornamental pools, and a 1930s water garden, together with the National Collection of Asters.
Chapel & Church: The small and very sweet Norman St. Michael's Church on the Estate has been restored by the Churches Conservation Trust, under whose care it remains. The Grade II redundant church features a fine Norman arch.
Country Life: LXXX, 248 plan, 1936.
Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
Author: Sayer, Michael
Year Published: 1993
Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Grade II*
Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSES: de Upton family, 14th-15th centuries. Sir William Danvers, 15th century; Danvers family here from circa 1500 until 1678. Simon Archer of Tysoe, 1679-88. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Sir Rushout Cullen, Bt., 1695-1732. William Bumstead, 1732-57. Sir Francis Child, Jr., 18th century; George Child Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey, 19th century; Child Villiers family here from 1757 until 1894. Charles Compton William Cavendish, 3rd Baron Chesham, 1894-98. Andrew Motion, 1898-1927. Colonel Walter Horace Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted, 1927-48.
Current Ownership Type: The National Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction