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24 September 2014

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You are in: Northamptonshire » A Sense Of Place

Image of Althorp house
Twenty generations of the Spencer family have lived here.
The ancestral home of Diana, Princess of Wales, attracts as many as 150,000 visitors a year.


Althorp Estate

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Send us a review of Althorp using the form at the foot of this page.


360 degree tour of Althorp

Earl Spencer's favourite place in Northants

Diana remembered

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Near Harlestone,
off A428

01604 603407

Streetmap / Multimap
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Map of the county showing Althorp

Diana has put Althorp on the map. Six years after her tragic death in Paris, hundreds of thousands of people come to the Northamptonshire estate to pay their respects.

Image of the lake at Althorp
The island and the lake.

The Stable Block museum is split into six aspects of Diana's life: childhood, Royal wedding, work, tribute, style & fashion and the work continues (about the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund).

Her dresses - including the unforgettable bridal gown - are perhaps the most popular exhibits.

Island burial

Althorp is set in 450 acres of parkland. Diana was laid to rest on an island in the middle of a lake in the grounds. Visitors can walk to the lake to view the island, and also see the Diana memorial at the water's edge.

Image of Earl and Countess Spencer
Earl and Countess Spencer.

Diana's brother lives in Althorp House with his wife and children, as his ancestors have done for nearly 500 years. Visitors can also look around parts of the house.

Earl Spencer told the BBC Northamptonshire website that the atmosphere at Althorp has altered in the years since Diana died: "I think there's been a definite change in the years since she died as to the general tone here. I think we were in huge shock here for the first year or two. Most of our summer visitors seemed to be coming here to get in touch with whatever emotions they felt that week when they learnt Diana had died. There was a melancholy air to the whole opening.

"But now people come and it hasn't got such a sad air about it because people accept what happened. They come here to put Diana in context, which is far healthier. They celebrate her life rather than mourn her death."

But is he cashing in on Diana's name? That's an accusation made by some commentators.

"I suppose ever since my sister's funeral, the press have tried to have an angle on me and this is the one they've chosen," Earl Spencer responds.

"But it's not true. Our accounts are independently audited, the charity commissioners check it, it's all above board. Whatever profits we make abroad, just the same as here, will go to her charity."

Strong views

Earl Spencer said that people still have strong opinions about Diana: "I don't think anyone's views of Diana will ever change now. I think they either thought she was a force for good or they didn't get what she was about and was suspicious. I think those that supported her will always do so and those who didn't get her will just get on with their lives not worrying about it."

Image of the new minitram
The mini-tram.

This year, Althorp is open to the public for three months, until 30th September.

Earl Spencer said that he has now plans to open for longer: "Three months to me is the maximum. I've got a young family and another child on the way, and I think people like the fact it's a family home and it's got to keep that atmosphere genuinely."

Audio guides give a tour of the house, voiced by Earl Spencer and children can go on a nature trail around the park.

Take a 360 degree tour of Althorp

For more information about Althorp, including opening times and prices, go to the official website:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

Have your say

Send us your own comments about Althorp. Please use the form below to send us your comments.

Debra Barnett
I came to Althorp in 1998. I then continued to come four times after that visit. It is such a tranquil, sedate and homely place that I felt very much at home myself. The staff and the Earl who I met were so polit, friendly and informative, they showed a devoution to Althorp. Diana would have adored the public around her. Both my young children have visited and they too agree that it is a wonderful day outand vast amounts of history to find out and learn.

martha and imelda
we visited althorp with three residents from a residential home in surrey . We thoroughly enjoyed our day and the service from staff was exceptional. What a beautiful house and grounds. We felt very close to Diana when we viewed her gowns especially her wedding gown. We also felt so relaxed and at ease when we were sitting by the oval lake and looking across at the island where Diana is resting in peace. Althorp is a unique setting and one got the impression that it is somewhere that needs to be revisited.
I am from South Africa and would love to see more about HRH Princess Diana's grave, why can we see Princess Grace Kelly's tumbstone, it gives us closure. With HRH Princess Diana, there is NOTHING!!, NO CLOSURE. WHY IS THIS, WE LOVED HER, AND FOLLOWED HER THROUGHOUT HER JOURNEY TO THE END AND NOW IT IS AS IF WE ARE ALSO GETTING PUNISHED, DIANA WOULD NEVER HAVE WANTED THIS.

i came here when i was 14 but am going to come again in november the things you can buy are amazing!.i just love the place i hope it stays open long enough for me to bring my own children to experince it x and il make sure my children know who diana was.

it was great to look at all the grounds of the place its a great comfort. what a great idea to open it! il certainly be coming again x x

sarah Layton
It is just a lovely place to visit.The people are so helpful and friendly.

its nice its beautiful

Pete Edwards
A first class visitor attraction. The areas open to the public are well designed and signposted. The people on duty are helpful and well trained. Everywhere is neat and tidy. The exhibition on Diana is well presented. Whatever you think of Diana, it's well worth a visit to Althorp.


Also see:
• 360 degree panoramic tour of Althorp
• Diana remembered
• Earl Spencer's favourite place
• Places to visit


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