Portland Collection - the Harley Gallery

What can I say about the Portland Collection at the Harley Gallery, on the Welbeck Abbey estate, near Worksop?

Firstly, I must point out that photography is not allowed. At all.  Not even sneaky ones without flash, so you'll just have to take my word for what's there.

The Harley Gallery is located in what has to be one of the nicest gallery buildings I have been to.

A large airy gallery space houses portraits of Charles II as a boy, and William Cavendish first Duke of Newcastle by van Dyck.  Other Civil War era portraits include Sir William Farmor by  William Dobson; 'Mad Madge' the Duchess of Newcastle, and Sir Edward Harley both by Sir Peter Lely.

Elsewhere there is a Newark siege coin, a number of Charles I medallions and Charles's toothpick and case. Highlight of the entire gallery has to be a drop pearl earring  worn by Charles in pretty much every one of his portraits (from the age of sixteen). A close second is the chalice that he drank from on the day of his execution.

A close up picture of the earring can be seen here

There is a large model of Charles II's royal yacht Henrietta, which rather interestingly the real vessel was sold and converted into a dive support vessel.

There is a large exhibit consisting of miniature portraits; later this month a rare miniature of Oliver Cromwell will go on display.

An empty display cabinet bears the scars of a robbery last year, when the Portland tiara was stolen. The tiara has not been recovered, and a £100k reward for information still awaits anyone with information.

As always cafe, farm shop and garden centre on site to distract the rest of your household (and empty your wallet).

Close by is Cresswell Crags, which was used in the final scene of Hex.

Postcodes for SatNavs
The Harley Gallery S80 3LW
Cresswell Crags S80 3LH


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