Literary links at Boughton House

19th April, 2016

In the year of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, Northamptonshire’s Boughton House is celebrating literature with a special summer events schedule.

Boughton is home to the Duke of Buccleuch, a descendant of Shakespeare’s patron, the Third Earl of Southampton. The Bard’s poems Venus and Adonis and the Rape of Lucrece are dedicated to the Earl.

Today, Boughton is also home to a portion of the renowned Buccleuch Art Collection, containing many historic paintings and texts.

Visitors to the Estate during its annual summer opening season in August can view the celebrated portrait of the Third Earl of Southampton in the Tower of London – together with a portrait of his wife, Elizabeth Vernon – during the new Great Hall Tour. Learn about Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel’s controversial theory of Elizabeth as Shakespeare’s Dark Lady[i] and of the Earl’s patronage of the playwright.

And make time to see Boughton’s historic library, as part of the Books, Beds and Beyond tour.

Also this summer, Boughton will toast some of the nation’s best loved stories, with two special open air theatre performances in conjunction with Chapterhouse Theatre Company.

On Friday 17th June, Boughton welcomes:

Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles

Gates open at 6pm, with the performance commencing at 7pm. Then on Tuesday 9 August, settle in with a picnic on the lawn from 4.30pm, before the main event at 5.30pm, when the Estate hosts:

Peter Pan

Written by J M Barrie

Adapted by Laura Turner.

Presented by special arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Samuel French Ltd

Charles Lister, property manager at Boughton House, said: “Boughton House has a rich history and we are thrilled to be celebrating our own historic literary connections and to be bringing adaptations of some of our nation’s most beloved stories to audiences here at the Estate during such an important year for British literature.

“Shakespeare is considered our greatest playwright and it is fitting, therefore, that these classic stories will be brought to life through live performances in the 400th  anniversary of his death.”

Boughton House and Gardens will open throughout August. Guided House tours will begin at 1pm, with the last tour at 3.30pm daily.

The Great Hall Tour, plus entry to the Gardens, Armoury and special Handel exhibition costs £10 for adults, £8 for children and £30 for families (2+2). Children under five go free.  The State Rooms tour is available for an extra £2.00 per person, while the Bed Books and Beyond Tour costs an additional £12.50 per person.

The Gardens will open between 12pm-5pm, with last entry at 4pm. Tickets cost £6 for adults, £3 for children and £14 for families (2+2). As an added bonus, Gardens tickets holders will also gain access to the Armoury and special Handel exhibition.

Tickets for the summer openings can be booked in advance by calling 01536 515 731 or purchased on a first come, first served basis at the kiosk on the day.

Tickets for the open air theatre performances at Boughton House are available at

[i] In Search of the Dark Lady, Hildegard Hammerschmidt – Hummel,