Wilton House in Salisbury
Since 1544 when the buildings and land were granted by Henry VIII to Sir William Herbert, Wilton House has been inextricably linked to the political and artistic circles of England, whilst at the same time providing employment and homes for estate workers. This pattern continues today but, against this traditional background, changes are constantly afoot. Henry, 17th Earl, initiated a major programme of restoration and improvements, a task which I am continuing to this day. These have included the addition of several new gardens and the complete renovation of the Inigo Jones South Front, including all the state rooms. In 2010 another phase of restoration included the Dining Room and Wyatt Cloisters which received the HHA/Sotheby’s Restoration Award.
Wilton Estate is approximately one-third of what it was in the 1870’s, and today it comprises 5,870 Hectares (14,500 Acres) extending over the valleys of the Wylye and Nadder rivers, with the largest wood in the south of England, Grovely Wood, surmounting the hill between the two valleys.
The social economic and political changes of the past 150 years, combined with the changes brought about by two World Wars, have necessitated the introduction of modern management techniques in order to ensure the long-term survival of the Estate.
While farming, and the letting of farms, residential and commercial properties still form the traditional core of Estate businesses, recent years have seen the establishment of various tourist related retail operations, Salisbury Racecourse and South Wilts Golf Course.