Wilton House stands on the site of a ninth century nunnery founded by King Alfred. This, in turn, was owned by a twelfth century Benedictine abbey which, with its surrounding lawns, was surrendered at the time, during the Dissolution of the monasteries, to King Henry VIII, who gave them to William Herbert around 1542. The House has remained in the family since that time and is now the home of William Herbert the 18th Earl of Pembroke. This 450 year old building has attracted visitors from around the world through its history, architecture, art treasures and acres of garden and parkland. Inside the House there are paintings by Sir Anthony Van Dyck or by his studio. The picture of Philip, 4th Earl of Pembroke and his family is the largest ever painted by Van Dyck.