The 11th Marquess of Cholmondeley was thrilled with the success of the Houghton Revisited exhibition after it was extended by two months and saw 46 Norfolk schools visiting.
He said: “It’s gone incredibly well and has really caught the imagination. We’ve had visitors from all over the world as well as across Norfolk, including 46 schools – it’s extraordinary.
“The excitement of a first visit to an art exhibition, and to a museum, is crucial to a child’s experience and I hope that this exhibition will help to bring children back to the house again.
“It has been great for the local community and has really helped to put Houghton on the map in a way it wasn’t before.”
The exhibition saw Houghton Hall achieve museum status for the duration of the exhibition, but now it seems the hall will be keeping this status allowing for future exhibitions.
Lord Cholmondeley said: “We are one of the only private houses in England to be given this status and we feel incredibly privileged.
“We’ve never really had an exhibition before, so it’s lovely to do so well on the first one.
“I don’t know how we can ever match the success of Houghton Revisited, but we’ve got various possibilities in mind. First we will be focusing on something more contemporary for the grounds which people can enjoy as they walk around.”
The seventh Marquess of Cholmondeley was overwhelmed by the generosity of the 16 museums that lent paintings and items for the Houghton Revisited exhibition.
He said: “It really was extraordinary to think that the paintings had not been here at Houghton Hall since 1779, but lending them to us was great for the Russian museum as well, They’ve had lots of publicity and they even let us have the paintings for two more months.
“I really couldn’t have asked for more.”