Wilton House is a splendid 460 year old building that stands on the site of a ninth century nunnery founded by King Alfred. History, architecture, art treasures and 21 acres of gardens and parkland combine to create an attraction that draws people from all over the world. It’s well worth a visit when staying at Plumber Manor, the finest archetypal country house hotel near Wilton House in Salisbury.
The later twelfth century Benedictine abbey, with its surrounding lands, was given to William Herbert by Henry VIII at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries. Wilton House has remained in the family since that time and is the home of the Earl of Pembroke.
In 1647, a fire severely damaged much of the house which was rebuilt in the Palladian style. The Single and Double Cube Rooms are recognised as the grandest rooms of this period in England.
In 1737, the 9th Earl built the Palladian Bridge spanning the River Nadder. Between 1801 and 1815 the 11th Earl had cloisters designed on two levels and remodelled the north and west sides of the house. Between 1987 and 1992, the 17th Earl commissioned a major restoration project on the inside and outside of the building and to celebrate the completion of this scheme, a new Coat of Arms was carved to replace the much eroded one on the inside of the Clock tower.