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We have changed the opening arrangements of our sites to play our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Apethorpe Palace is now closed for the winter, and will reopen again in April 2021. We are keeping a selection of sites open for local people to use for exercise during the lockdown period. These are a mixture of free-to-enter and paid sites, and all have plenty of outdoor space for safe social distancing. Visits to paid sites must be booked in advance. We hope to be able to reopen all our sites in the near future, and we are taking bookings for February half-term and beyond. Thank you for your understanding, patience and support during this difficult time.
Among England's greatest country houses, Apethorpe Palace holds a particularly important place in English history because of its ownership by, and role in, entertaining Tudor and Stuart monarchs.
Elizabeth I once owned the building, which she had inherited from Henry VIII. For a period, Apethorpe was a royal palace lived in regularly by James I and Charles I.
James I so loved Apethorpe that he personally contributed to its extension to make it more suitable for his 'princely recreation' and 'commodious entertainment', particularly for hunting in the nearby royal forest of Rockingham. The resulting series of state rooms, including the King's Bedchamber and the impressive Long Gallery, is one of the most complete to survive from the Jacobean period.
Due to its past royal ownership and use, along with its outstanding historic and architectural significance, English Heritage and the new owner jointly agreed, prior to the sale in 2014, that the building would henceforth be known as Apethorpe Palace.
Visitors now have a unique opportunity to discover its past and explore the grand rooms through guided tours in July and August. Tickets can be pre-booked by ringing 0370 333 1183.