Basildon Park is a large Palladian-style country house that was built between 1776 and 1783 for Sir Francis Sykes.
The house was never fully completed and became derelict by the middle of the 20th century. However, in 1953 Lord and Lady Iliffe purchased the property and dedicated their lives to restoring the mansion. In 1978, the Iliffes donated Basildon Park to the National Trust.
What to see at Basildon Park
Visitors to Basildon Park have the option of taking a tour of the downstairs of the house or simply visiting and exploring the house independently.
The ground floor of the house was originally used as the servants’ quarters and the former servants’ hall is now used as Basildon’s tea rooms.
The first floor was the principal floor of the house and it is this floor that features Basildon’s most impressive rooms. This includes the hall, the staircase hall, the octagon drawing room, the dining room, the kitchen and the green drawing room.
Basildon Park in film and television
Basildon Park has been a filming location for several films and television programmes including Pride and Prejudice (2005), Marie-Antoinette (2006), Dorian Gray (2009) and Pride and Prejudice with Zombies (2016). Basildon Park also featured in Downton Abbey with the interior of the house standing in for the Crawley family’s London residence.
Visiting Basildon Park
Basildon Park is located near Pangbourne, 13km (8 miles) northwest of Reading. Local bus routes 142, 142B (Going Forward Buses) and 143 (Thames Travel) stop outside the main gates and from there it is around an eight-minute walk to the house.
Free parking is available if you’re driving.
There are two 45-minute guided tours of the house, running every day at 11am and noon. The first tour is probably the best one to take as it means that you get to see it before it opens to the public at midday.
There is a small cafe/tea room where you can enjoy breakfast (Fri–Sun), a light lunch or cream tea.
The grounds, shop and tea room open at 10am with the house opening to the public at noon.