WELLINGTON AT WALMER
The room in which the Duke of Wellington died in 1852 has been re-created by English Heritage as part of a major re-presentation of Walmer Castle in Kent. A pair of original Wellington boots and the Duke's death mask are among the objects in a new exhibition, opening on Friday 5 June, looking at the life and 'celebrity' status of the victor of Waterloo.
The Duke stayed at Walmer Castle every autumn in his role as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, a post he held from 1829 until his death at the age of 83 in 1852. After the Duke died his body lay-in-state at the castle for two months, whilst preparations for his state funeral at St Paul's Cathedral were taking place. 'Now it will be seen how a nation can mourn,' wrote one commentator and his funeral was the largest ever known, with over 1.5 million people lining the route.
Now for the first time since 1934 and to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Wellington's bedroom at Walmer where he breathed his last has been re-presented. Drawing on a watercolour of the room made shortly after the Duke's death by Thomas Shotter Boys, English Heritage curators have re-created the original carpet and wallpaper. On 14 September 1852, the Duke's valet found him unable to stir from his small campaign bed, Wellington was moved to his armchair and made comfortable but he died that afternoon. Both the bed and armchair are on display and the room retains its spartan appearance from the Duke's days there.
In adjacent rooms, new displays will explore Wellington's career, the story of his death, the state funeral and the 'celebrity' status he attained during and after his life.
English Heritage Senior Curator Rowena Willard-Wright said: 'In 1852, the eyes of the world fell upon Walmer Castle as one of the most important figures of that century died within a small and modest room there. We've now carefully re-created that room and our new exhibition explores Wellington's life and legend. We will also reveal many of Walmer's other intriguing stories including its role during the First World War when the castle played host to Winston Churchill and the poet Rupert Brooke.'
Latest News from
Belsay awakes : Historic house and gardens back in bloom after major conservation23/08/2023 13:20:00
A major two-year project of conservation and revival at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens in Northumberland is now complete, English Heritage announced today (23 August), as the charity revealed the results of major work to conserve Belsay’s Hall, Castle and Coach House, and rejuvenate the renowned historic gardens.
English Heritage breathes new life into endangered heritage skills with ground-breaking apprenticeship programme11/08/2023 10:10:00
A ground-breaking heritage apprenticeship programme, designed to pass the dying skill of flint-working to a younger generation, was announced yesterday by English Heritage, following a major donation of £11.2m to the charity from the Hamish Ogston Foundation. This is the largest donation ever received by English Heritage.
Dressing Up Costumes For Grown-ups! New Research Shows The Human Imagination Becomes More Active With Age03/08/2023 13:25:00
New research commissioned by English Heritage and conducted by the University of Kent has shown that, contrary to popular opinion, the adult imagination is not only as vivid as that of a child but even becomes more active with age.
English Heritage Exhibits Hadrian’s Wall Oldest Souvenirs08/09/2022 11:33:00
The Rudge Cup, made around 130AD, is a small bronze bowl with the names of Hadrian’s Wall forts inscribed on it.
Get Historic Cheese Back on The Menu This Christmas, Says English Heritage16/12/2021 11:43:00
With shortages at supermarkets in the run-up to Christmas a growing possibility, English Heritage is calling for the return of historic cheese to the Christmas dining table.
London Blue Plaque For Social Justice Campaigners Ellen And William Craft05/10/2021 12:38:00
Ellen and William Craft, African-American freedom fighters who made a daring escape from enslavement in Georgia, USA and fled to Britain in the mid-19th century, have today been commemorated with an English Heritage London blue plaque.
Jean Muir, Dressmaker And Fashion Designer, Celebrated With English Heritage Blue Plaque30/07/2021 10:38:00
Joanna Lumley, Muir’s model and friend, unveils plaque at designer’s London headquarters and showroom.
Back to The Office For England's Historical Re-enactors29/07/2021 14:33:00
A Roman centurion, a medieval knight, a Second World War Wren and a fool; these are just a few of the English Heritage re-enactors returning to work at our properties across the country this summer for the first time in two years due to the pandemic.
English Heritage Returns 450-year-old Painting to Audley End Following Transformative Restoration by Conservators16/07/2021 14:33:00
Today, Friday 16 July, visitors to Audley End House in Essex will be able to see an important 16th century Dutch painting, known as The Vegetable Seller, reinstated to the historic house’s art collection for the first time in 60 years.