The Friends of Hylands House was formed in 1995 when a group of local people decided to get together with an aim to assist and encourage the development of the House and Park and to raise funds for the preservation, maintenance, repair and improvement of the Estate. This followed the local Council’s decision to embark upon a restoration plan for the House which until then had sadly been neglected for many years. In the early years the Friends made cash donations directly to the Council’s ‘Hylands House Restoration Fund’, however in 1998 it was agreed that one of the Friends’ undertakings would be to purchase selected period furnishings, with special consideration given to finding artifacts directly associated with the Hylands Estate. It has never been the aim to fully furnish the House and make it into a Museum, as the House has to host many functions of all descriptions, but to furnish the House with key quality items to blend in and enhance the restored rooms. As you enter the House you cannot fail to notice the stunning life size marble replica of “Venus with Apple” commissioned by the Friends in 2002. The original statue was commissioned in 1816 by Pierre Labouchere who was the owner of Hylands at the time. As you walk around the House you will see other beautiful items that the Friends have purchased. The Friends have also bought items for the Park, Pleasure Gardens and the Adventure Playground.