Duke’s portrait returns to wall at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire

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One hundred years after being sold, five portraits from Wrest Park’s original collection have been rehung.

The paintings include family portraits of Henry Grey, the first Duke of Kent and two of his children.

They went on display to the public for the first time in a century yesterday, just as the historic property reopens on a daily basis for the spring and summer season.

Henry Grey was a hugely important figure in the history of the gardens at Wrest Park.

It was his improvements to the extensive grounds during the early eighteenth century which laid the foundations 
for the landscape loved by visitors today.

His portrait would have once hung in the library – with a view of the gardens and the architectural and sculptural features he introduced – and English Heritage has returned the Duke’s painting to its historic location.

Dr Peter Moore, curator of collections for English Heritage said: “It is incredibly exciting to see these paintings returning home to Wrest Park.

“Following their purchase by English Heritage and subsequent cleaning at our paintings conservation studio.

“Not only will they greatly enhance the historic interiors at Wrest for the benefit of visitors, they will also enable us to tell the interlinked stories of the house and gardens more effectively.

“It seems fitting that the portrait of Henry Grey, who was so instrumental in the development of the landscape, will now once again be looking out over the gardens he loved so much.”

English Heritage acquired the paintings in 2015 and 
for the past two years they have been at the charity’s paintings conservation studio in London undergoing cleaning.