Palace House – the site on which the new National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art is located, originally built as a sporting palace for Charles II, a monarch whose passion and pioneering ideas for racing and breeding is still enriched in the sport 350 years on. William Samwell, a gentleman architect who helped define the architectural style that was fashionable after the Restoration was commissioned to build the Palace in 1668 to 1671. It remained in the Royal Family for another 150 years – regularly used by the reigning monarchs.

In 1857 the Rothschild family acquired Palace House and the racing yard and made many improvements to the palace and the stable yard including building an additional yard. Four Derby winners were trained from Palace House Stables under the Rothschild’s ownership, including Macaroni trained by James Godding in 1863, Kisber trained by Joseph Hayhoe in 1876, Sir Bevys trained by Joseph Hayhoe in 1879 and St Amant trained by Alfred Hayhoe in 1904.

The last trainer to occupy the Trainer’s House and Palace House Stables from 1965-1985 was the legendary Bruce Hobbs, who made history by winning the Grand National himself in 1938 at the age of just seventeen.


National Horseracing Museum:

The National Horseracing Museum tells the story of horseracing from its earliest origins to the world-wide phenomenon it is today.

This is explored through works of art, silver, bronzes and artefacts including silks worn by famous jockeys Lester Piggott and Frankie Dettori.

Using the latest interactive and audio visual displays the Museum also takes a different look at the sport, examining the physical attributes of the elite equine athlete and the importance of thoroughbred pedigree.

Your visit will not be complete without riding a winner on the famous Racehorse Simulator!

Rothschild Yard open doors and statue

Rothschild Yard:

Discover and meet the heroes of racing themselves - the racehorses!

The Rothschild Yard has been returned to its former glory to stable former racehorses, showcasing the work of the Retraining of Racehorses charity to illustrate how thoroughbreds can be re-trained effectively for a successful life beyond horseracing. Twice daily demonstrations will take place, including in the Peter O’Sullevan Arena for the Welfare of the Horse. Check the website for more details of the resident horses and daily demonstrations

Fred Packard Galleries:

Situated in the remaining element of Charles II’s racing palace is the Fred Packard Museum and Galleries of British Sporting Art - a new home for the British Sporting Art Trust.

Paintings by George Stubbs and Sir Alfred Munnings rub shoulders with works from John Singer Sargent and John Wootton showcasing the finest British Sporting Art from around the UK.

Images of traditional rural pursuits are joined by some more surprising aspects of the subject: contemporary artwork from Peter Blake and Mark Wallinger.

The new gallery will explore the development of these popular sporting images through paintings, sculpture, print-making and the applied arts. Significant loans have come from the Tate and Victoria & Albert Museum along with a number of private and public art collections