The new exhibition invites visitors to find out about Dr Joseph Priestley, the man who discovered oxygen in the laboratory at Bowood House in Wiltshire. 

An exterior of Bowood House & Gardens in Wiltshire


There is plenty for groups to discover at Bowood throughout 2024 not least the discovery of oxygen by Dr Joseph Priestley. 

While employed by William, 2nd Earl of Shelburne (later 1st Marquess of Landsdowne), Priestley undertook some of his most important scientific work on gases. 

And new for 2024, to mark the 250th anniversary of the discovery (1st August), is A New Pure Air exhibition which tells visitors much more about the landmark find. 

There will also be a new Dr Joseph Priestley Tour at Bowood this year. Costumed guides will take your group through the story of Priestley, his scientific discoveries, his politics, his time employed by the 1st Marquess of Landsdowne and why he emigrated to the USA. 

Other highlights at Bowood House & Gardens

Set in 100 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped gardens and home to the Lansdowne family, Bowood House & Gardens has plenty to offer groups this year. In addition to the new exhibition and tour, groups can book guided tours of Bowood’s Private Walled Garden. 

Bowood House and Gardens in Wiltshire

Tours of the Private Walled Garden are tailored to each season. 

Enter through a secret door to the historic walled gardens which are divided into four one-acre squares of distinctly different gardens including a formal border, a picking garden, working greenhouses and a kitchen garden full of fruits and vegetables. 

There are also exclusive tours of Bowood’s Woodland Gardens. Open for six weeks between mid-April and early June, the 30-acre Gardens are considered to be one of the most exciting of its type in the country. 

Expect carpets of bluebells and an oasis of azaleas, magnolias and rhododendrons. 

Bowood House & Gardens

Source: Visit Wiltshire

Bowood House & Gardens is the 18th century family home of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne.

Group benefits

Group rates are available to those of 15 or more. There is free parking as well as pre-booked lunch and cream tea options. Groups can also add a guided tour of Bowood House to their package. 

Coach drivers receive complimentary access to Bowood House & Gardens and a refreshment voucher to be used within the Treehouse Cafe. 

To find out more contact groups coordinator Lisa Kent on 01249 810 968 or email

For more details about what’s on this year visit