The romantic exterior of Knebworth House with its turrets, domes and gargoyles silhouetted against the sky does little to prepare the visitor for what to expect inside. The House has stood for many years longer than the Victorian decoration suggests; the stucco hides from view a red brick house dating back to the Tudor times.
Knebworth House first achieved fame in Victorian times as the home of the novelist, playwright and politician Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton; author of the words “it was a dark and stormy night” and “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Other notable family members include Lady Constance Lytton, Hertfordshire’s own Suffragette and the Edwardian architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, who married into the Lytton family.
Every generation of the Lytton family has left something of its style and taste; making Knebworth an extraordinary walk through 500 years of British history. Stories and heirlooms reflect the family’s contribution to literature, politics and foreign service; alongside visits by characters as diverse as Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill and Noel Gallagher.
Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome in Knebworth Park, but are not permitted in the House, Gardens, Dinosaur Trail or inside Fort Knebworth. Working assistance dogs may be taken into all areas.
Tours are included with House admission and are guided on most days, lasting approximately one hour. On busy event days and Sundays in July and August, tours operate on a ‘free-flow’ basis, giving visitors the opportunity to view the house at their own leisure; Room Stewards will be present in key areas and will be happy to answer any questions.
Groups will be split into parties of 25 maximum. Guided Tours take approximately 1 hour; however, we can vary the timing and content of a tour to suit the interests and needs of the group.
Ground Floor rooms are accessible to wheelchairs, but we ask that pushchairs and mobility scooters are not used in the House or Raj exhibition.
For a personal audio tour of Knebworth House by The Hon Henry Lytton Cobbold featuring recollections by Lord Cobbold and music associated with Knebworth House and the Lytton family, listen to the extract below and purchase the full CD or the full audio download. We kindly ask that visitors do not take photos inside the House.
British Raj Exhibition
Within Knebworth House there is a fascinating display and video presentation telling the story of the Lytton family’s connection with India. Pictured below is Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton; the Viceroy of India who proclaimed Queen Victoria Empress of India at the Great Delhi Durbar of 1877.
(Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton, Viceroy of India 1876-1880)
(Knebworth House Education & Preservation Trust)
A unique ‘living museum’, Knebworth House offers a walk through history to both entertain and educate.
The Charitable Trust’s efforts are concentrated on halting the decay of the most vulnerable decorative features and historic artefacts collected and on display in the 500 year old House and 28-acres of formal landscaped Gardens.
The Trust needs and values its supporters. Click here to find out how you can help.
For more information on current projects and how you can support the work of the Trust, please view our KHEPT leaflet (pdf) or contact the Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org tel 01438 812661