Explore behind the scenes at Stowe

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The Stowe House Preservation Trust continues its programme of Twilight Tours of historic Stowe House, near Buckingham, this year.

It will be the third year of the Twilight Tours, which offer an opportunity to delve into Stowe’s history and discover a different intriguing side to the house and the Temple-Grenville family.

Letter dated 8th May 1759 detailing the purchase of a picture for Stowe House

Letter dated 8th May 1759 detailing the purchase of a picture for Stowe House

In addition, the house also plays host to talks by specialist historians. In previous years, there have been talks by Dan Cruickshank, Kate Williams and Annie Gray on subjects including Georgian Dining, Royal Scandals and the English Country House.

This year, insights into Georgian life will continue with an investigation into the complexities of dressing the 18th-century woman on Sunday, April 13, and an exploration of the 18th-century garden on Friday, July 11.

The Twilight Tours take place one Sunday per month from 7.30pm to 9pm, and cost £12.50.

Pre-booking is essential.

The season starts on Sunday, January 19, with Stowe Through The Archives.

The tour will begin at the stunning Marble Saloon with wine and canapés, followed by a guided tour of the house.

There is also the opportunity to visit Sir John Soane’s Gothic Library, which is considered to be a masterpiece of British architecture.

With the house’s research manager, visitors can enjoy an evening of unprecedented access to the documents which give a deeper insight into Stowe’s intriguing past.

These include the historic Stowe guidebooks, produced between 1742 and 1838, that provide an insight into the evolution of the estate.

Delve into the satire of the 18th and early 19th century through a selection of prints by James Gillray and Thomas Paton, and explore the infamous sales of Stowe through the originally sale catalogues.

The subjects of future Twilight Tours include:

February 16: The Gothic Library and the Bosworth Relief;

March 16: Royalty and Revelry – Regal Visits To Stowe House;

April 27: Parties, Politics and Petticoats –18th-Century Life For The Ladies Of Stowe;

May 18: Just like Elizabeth Bennet: Visiting the Georgian Country House;

June 15: More than Temples – How Stowe Left Its Mark On Its Neighbours;

July 20: Restoring Magnificence: Saving Stowe For The Nation; August 3, 10 and 17: Roof-Top Twilight Tours – ‘The Finest View In England’ (6.30pm to 8pm);

September 21: Portraits And People: The Art Of Stowe House;

October 19: The Rise And Fall Of Stowe;

November 16: Scandalous By Nature: The Troublesome Owners of Stowe;

December 7: Noble Festivities: Christmas In The Country House (7pm to 8.30pm).

For more information, and to book tickets for events, visit www.stowehouse.org