Collection Description

Collection name Hatchlands Park
Unique identifier
Description Hatchlands Park, while having had several owners over the centuries, is now home to the Cobbe Collection. Best known as an important collection of historical keyboard instruments associated with famous composers, the collections at Hatchlands Park also encompass paintings, sheet music, composer portrait prints and the “Cobbe Cabinet of Curiosities”.

The over 40 keyboard instruments of the Cobbe Collection includes one of the world's largest groups of composer-related instruments. These are on display across the six rooms that are seasonally open to the public, and date from between 1622 and approximately 1880. The collection includes pianos, clavichords, harpsichords, an organ, and a virginals. 18 of these were owned or played by composers including Purcell, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, J. C. Bach, Bizet, Mahler, Chopin and Elgar while others are notable for scarcity, such as its Ruckers harpsichord; one of only two surviving Ferdinand Weber pianos; and one of only three surviving Graf pianos with quadruple stringing Other instruments displayed at Hatchlands Park include two harps, by Egan and Meyer respectively.

The National Trust owns one instrument at Hatchlands Park, the 1904 J. W. Walker & Sons organ that sits in the Music Room. The organ was commissioned by Lord Rendel, who also commissioned the building of the Music Room to the designs of Sir Reginald Blomfield.

The collection of sheet music at Hatchlands Park relates closely to the instrument collection. While a small portion is the historic collection of the Cobbe family, the majority was purchased by Alec Cobbe. The historic family collection includes manuscript volumes formerly owned by Frances Conway and Lady Betty Cobbe, the latter containing a likely Tenducci autograph work.

In the main body of the collection, keyboard music predominates, including instrumental methods, although the collection also includes harp music, vocal music, chamber music, and full scores of larger works. While the earliest items date from the sixteenth century, the majority of the collection is late-eighteenth or early- to mid-nineteenth-century. Representative composers include J. C. Bach, Mozart, Haydn and Dussek. Notable or illustrative items include a first edition of J. C. Bach's Six concerti op. 1 (1763); a first edition vocal score of Don Giovanni (1793); Édouard Jue's Meloplaste (1824); J. B. Logier's Compagnon du chiroplaste, ou Méthode de piano (1828?); and a first edition of St. Matthew Passion (1830). Some items were purchased for their familial connections, such as Edward Bunting's A general collection of the ancient music of Ireland, which contains the tune “Carolan's concerto” (otherwise known as "Mrs. Power", or "Fanny Power", named for Frances Trench, née Power (1716-1793), the mother of Anne Power Cobbe (1756-1835)); and Amédée Méreaux's Variations op. 5, dedicated to Azélie Cobbe (1813?-1888).

The collection also includes a small number of manuscripts, including eight fugues by W. F. Bach; a book of opera arias associated with Marie Antoinette; and a Mahler autograph manuscript, purchased from the composer's granddaughter at the same time as the composer's Graf piano. A small collection of letters includes those by Clara Schumann, Ignaz Moscheles and Louis Spohr.

Music-related paintings within the Cobbe art collection are a portrait of J. S. Bach, and an “Imaginary self-portrait” (the subject seated at a piano), both by Alec Cobbe himself; a lady playing a viola da gamba, by Caspar Netscher; and Elizabeth Eleanor Mary Williams, later Mrs. Charles Stanhope-Jones (1814-), seated playing a Welsh harp.

The Cobbe Cabinet of Curiosities, a cabinet collection begun by the Cobbe family in Ireland around 1750, contains a small number of items relating to music, most notably a lock of Mozart's hair, and a pair of Beethoven's eyeglasses. There are also two early- to mid-nineteenth-century guitars.

Select instruments and artworks are listed on, with a fuller listing on, where recordings of the instruments may be heard. The artworks may also be viewed on The printed and manuscript music collections are catalogued.

For further reading on the collections at Hatchlands Park, see:

‘The Cobbe Foundation and collection of instruments’ (Hatchlands Park : Cobbe Foundation, 1994)

Alec Cobbe, ‘Composer instruments : catalogue of the Cobbe Collection of keyboard instruments with composer associations’ (Hatchlands Park : Cobbe Collection Trust, 2000)

Jonathan Frank, ‘A catalogue of the printed and manuscript music, books on music, and other musical items of the Cobbe Collection at Hatchlands Park : also including the music at Newbridge House, County Dublin’ ([Privately printed], 2020)

‘The Cobbe family and music in Ireland and Bath’ (Hatchlands Park : Cobbe Collection Trust, 2000)

‘Hatchlands Park, Surrey’ (Hatchlands Park : Cobbe Collection Trust, 2002)

‘Hatchlands Park : List of the Cobbe Collection of paintings’ (Hatchlands Park : Cobbe Collection Trust)

Alec Cobbe, ‘Chopin's swansong : the Paris and London pianos of his last performances now in the Cobbe Collection’ (London : Chopin Society, 2010)

Alec Cobbe and Christopher Nobbs, ‘Three hundred years of composers’ instruments : the Cobbe Collection’ (Woodbridge : Boydell Press, 2014)

Arthur MacGregor, ‘The Cobbe Cabinet of Curiosities : an Anglo-Irish country house museum’ (New Haven : Yale University Press, 2015)

Jonathan Frank, July 2020

Printed music
Manuscript music
Date range -
Associated People and Organisations Cobbe, Alec - Purcell, Henry - Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus - Haydn, Joseph - Beethoven, Ludwig van - Bach, Johann Christian - Bizet, Georges - Mahler, Gustav - Chopin, Fryderyk - Elgar, Edward - Ruckers, Andreas - Weber, Ferdinand - Graf, Conrad - John Egan - Meyer - Walker, J W & Sons - Stuart Rendel 1834 - 1913 Reginald Blomfield - Jan Ladislav Dussek - Édouard Jue - Logier, Johann Bernhard - Bach, Johann Sebastian - Bunting, Edward - Frances Trench 1716 - 1793 Anne Power Cobbe 1756 - 1835 Amédée Méreaux - Azélie Cobbe - 1888 Wilhelm Friedemann Bach - Marie Antoinette, 1755 - 1793 Caspar Netscher - Elizabeth Eleanor Mary Williams 1814 - Frances Conway - Lady Betty Cobbe - Giusto Fernando Tenducci, - Schumann, Clara - Ignaz Moscheles - Spohr, Louis -
Associated Places
Associated Times 16th Century 17th Century 18th Century 19th Century 20th Century
Associated Content Piano Clavichord Harpsichord Organ Virginals Harp Keyboard Keyboard music Piano music Harpsichord music Harp music Vocal music Instrumental music Orchestral music Piano teaching Irish music Guitar
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National Trust, Hatchlands Park

East Clandon Guildford GU4 7RT Open Map
Building Information Stretches of sweeping parkland sheltering a classic country house.
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