Who We Are

The Open Palace Programme has been developed by a group of significant heritage and education organisations in the UK committed to providing a first class, first hand experience of palaces and treasures houses across the UK for international students and emergent professionals in the heritage field.

The Open Palace Programme Secretariat

The Open Palace Programme Secretariat offers a comprehensive administrative service in order to shape and deliver each year’s programme. The programme is run by an experienced team of programme designers and managers who strive to achieve the highest standards in every aspect of their work. Glasscastle Ltd. is the parent company of The Open Palace Programme. The Open Palace Programme Secretariat can be contacted at: 


Historic Royal Palaces

'Historic Royal Palaces is an independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Hillsborough Castle and Kew Palace. Their aim is to help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. Each of the five royal palaces in their care has survived for hundreds of years. They have witnessed peace and prosperity and splendid periods of building and expansion, but they also share stories of more turbulent times, of war and domestic strife, politics and revolution.'


Royal Collection Trust looks after the Royal Collection, one of the most important art collections in the world, and manages the public opening of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. This includes Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Through their work, from exhibitions and learning programmes to publications and retail products, they aim to ensure that the Royal Collection and Palaces are valued and enjoyed by everyone.



Bath Preservation Trust

'Bath Preservation Trust was founded in 1934 as a small pressure group, with the object of protecting the city’s unique architectural heritage. The Trust exists “to preserve for the benefit of the public the historic character and amenities of the city of Bath and its surroundings”. The city of Bath has been accorded the status of a World Heritage Site, recognised as a place of outstanding universal significance for its rare visual integrity, its 18th century architectural quality and its landscape setting, which forms a magnificent backdrop to the city’s architecture. In a city with such a wealth of heritage there are inevitably difficult challenges to be faced in reconciling the demands of a modern thriving city with the exceptional level of conservation care demanded in a World Heritage Site. The 21st century has brought with it the added pressures of encroachment to the city’s green belt setting. The role and influence of the Trust is needed now as much as ever before.'


Stowe House and Preservation Trust

'The long term goal of the partners at Stowe is to return the site to its former glory, whilst protecting the interests of each partner as changes are made. In the short term, this involves restoring the house so that it becomes, as it was designed, the principal temple in Stowe's gardens, and in re-uniting and restoring the gardens. In the longer term, the Stowe House Preservation Trust, the School and the National Trust will work together to further the restoration of Stowe as a historic masterpiece. The visitor experience has been enhanced through the development of a National Trust Visitors' Centre located at New Inn, by the Corinthian Arch, the original eighteenth-century entrance to the gardens. The development of historic Stowe will involve each partner respecting the interests of the others and negotiating suitable solutions to specific challenges that arise within the overall joint goal.'


The Open Palace Programme has benefited from advice and support from academics at the following universities:                

The Institute of Education

The Institute of Education is a leading centre in education and social research. It is a graduate college of the University of London. Its research record, size and partnerships place it among the world's premier schools of education. With academics and alumni active across every continent, its reach is global.



The University of Leicester Country House Study Centre

The Centre for the Study of the Country House is an innovative joint venture between the Lamport Hall Preservation Trust and the University of Leicester. It exists to promote all aspects of the study of great historic houses and their surroundings, design, construction and conservation.