Exhibitions at Arundells

History, Politics, Art & Music

Temporary Exhibitions at Arundells

We will be featuring an exhibition on Sir Edward Heath’s travels when we reopen for the 2024 season.

Permanent Exhibitions at Arundells

The Soldier Exhibition

This small exhibition celebrates Edward Heath’s military service and highlights how this short, but full and often traumatic, period influenced and shaped his thoughts and views on many different subjects throughout his life.

Edward Heath’s uniform and medals form part of the exhibition and really help bring the words to life. 

The History of the House Exhibition

The house itself has a fascinating history which dates right back to the 13th Century. This exhibition tells the story of its former occupants as well as the architectural changes the house has undergone over the years.

Located in the upstairs corridor of the house, you will find yourself immersed in tales of statesmen, royalty and salvation from ruin. 

Previous Exhibitions

The Long Road Into Europe

Autumn 2023

 The exhibition charts Britain’s ambivalence towards greater European unity during the years after the Second World War as the country came to terms with the start of the loss of Empire and the humiliation of the Suez Crisis.  Having opted out of the talks that led to the creation of the European Economic Community in 1957, by 1959 Britain was having second thoughts.  Under the Government of Harold Macmillan, Britain applied for membership in 1961. Edward Heath was his chief negotiator. The negotiations progressed but, seemingly convinced that Britain was not sincere in its commitment to European unity, French President De Gaulle, halted the process by wielding a veto.  This failure broke the back of Macmillan’s government and he observed ‘all our policies at home and abroad are in ruins’.

Harold Wilson’s Labour Government submitted a fresh application in 1967 but that too foundered on the rock of French opposition. De Gaulle left office in 1969 but was succeeded by his political ally, Georges Pompidou. Edward Heath returned to the fore with his election victory in 1970 and he set about trying to win Pompidou round. As Heath’s Political Secretary, Douglas Hurd, recorded ‘Pompidou had to believe that Britain was coming into Europe not out of despair, not to make trouble, but as a capable and determined partner.’ Against the odds, Heath succeeded – probably his paramount political achievement. The exhibition then describes the process of winning Parliamentary approval and the confirmatory referendum of 1975.

Exodus: The Uganda Asians Crisis of 1972

Autumn 2022

In August 1972 Uganda’s President Idi Amin suddenly announced his intention to expel the Asian community from the country within 90 days. They were the beating heart of Uganda’s economy and around 30,000 of them were holders of British passports (albeit these didn’t guarantee a right of entry to Britain).  Whilst the British Government sought to reason with Amin and also to share the burden of refugees with other countries, the Government of Edward Heath accepted that Britain had a moral and humanitarian responsibility to care for the refugees.

The policy was initially supported by only 6% of the electorate and was politically courageous. The exhibition tells the story of the expulsion and how the Asians, stripped of their jobs, property and dignity came to Britain, and how the government and an army of volunteers made them welcome. It tells the story of the political struggle and how the refugees made a new life in a, sometimes, hostile climate. It is, however, a story with a moral – Britain’s compassion has been rewarded by the great contribution made to our national life by the Ugandan Asian community over the last 50 years.

The exhibition was made possible through the generous support of the Ahluwalia Family Foundation and of the Rumi Foundation.

The Foundation is grateful for the work of its Advisory Group on the exhibition: Rt Hon Shailesh Vara M.P., Cllr Ravi Govindia and founder of Volcanoes Safaris and former Government Special Adviser, Praveen Moman.

Poets, Plumbers & Politicians – The Sculptures of Martin Jennings

Spring/Summer 2022

Images by John Rose Photography https://www.johnrosephotography.com/

In this unique exhibition, renowned sculptor Martin Jennings presents maquettes of his statues of famous national figures alongside the stories behind their full-size realisations. Exhibits range in size from a tiny 6ins high model of his sculpture of George Orwell outside the BBC to a cast of the larger-than-lifesize portrait bust of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Jennings is perhaps best known for his statue of Sir John Betjeman at St Pancras Station. He has twice won the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture. His work is in private and public collections worldwide.

Jennings’ subjects include prominent figures from the worlds of politics, the military, royalty, academia, literature, industry, medicine and the law. In 1991 he was commissioned by the Oxford Union to make a bronze portrait bust of Sir Edward Heath. One of the casts was bought by the sitter himself and remains on display in the drawing room at Arundells, Heath’s former home.

As part of the Dreweatts Artist Insights series Jonathan Pratt talks to Martin about life as a portrait artist and his first visit to Arundells to meet Sir Edward Heath. Watch this fascinating conversation below.

ARCHIVE, IMAGES & MUSIC CREDITS Personal Archive & Exhibition Programme Imagery: Courtesy of Martin Jennings and Steve Russell Studios Images & Archive: Sir Archibald McIndoe | Courtesy of Queen Victoria Hospital Foundation Trust / East Grinstead Museum Images & Archive: Sir Edward Heath | Courtesy of Arundells, Salisbury Image: Sir John Betjeman statue from behind looking out at St. Pancras ceiling | Credit Ian Dick 2008 CC BY-SA 2.0 | via Flickr Music Track 1 : A Tender Heart | created by David Roy Collective | Artlist Music Track 2 : Spectacular | created by Piotr Hummel | Artlist Music Track 3: Fortitude | created by Lance Conrad | Artlist

The exhibition has kindly been sponsored by Dreweatts.

Dreweatts is a leading UK auctioneer of Fine Art, Furniture, Sculpture, European and Asian Ceramics and Works of Art, Modern Design, Jewellery, Watches, Silver, Clocks, Wine, Manuscripts and Miniatures, Books and Live Steam and Model Engineering. Based in Newbury, Berkshire. To find out more or get in touch, then click here.


The house was originally a medieval canonry, with the first recorded occupant being Henry of Blunston, Archdeacon of Dorset, who lived here from 1291 until his death in 1316.


The peaceful garden extends to around two acres in total, with lawns, mature trees, shrubbery and borders and includes sculpture by G E Wade and the bow of Morning Cloud III.


Arundells Collection includes works by well known artists, ceramics, gifts from world leaders, hand painted Chinese wallpaper and Morning Cloud scale model yachts.


Arundells events include talks, music concerts and recitals, seasonal outdoor theatre, children's events and Christmas events.

Upcoming Event at Arundells