National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art
The National Heritage Centre at Palace House is situated in Charles II’s sporting palace and stables and spans five acres in the heart of Newmarket. It comprises three complementary attractions; a new National Horseracing Museum, a National Art Gallery of British Sporting Art, and a chance to meet former racehorses and learn what they do after racing, in the flagship home of Retraining of Racehorses.
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 our famous Racehorse Simulator!
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 our 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.
In April 2017 it was announced that the National Heritage Centre has been shortlisted as a finalist for the prestigious Art Fund Museum of the Year prize.