Longleat House has played host to many monarchs over the centuries, including both Queen Elizabeths.
However its latest ‘royal’ visitor can surely lay claim to the oldest heritage.
A four-metre-tall tyrannosaurus rex, or king of the dinosaurs, made quite an impact when it was temporarily installed in the Great Hall of Lord Bath’s family home.
The 65-million-year-old reptile is part of ‘Dinosaurs Alive: A Prehistoric Adventure’ which features 20 animatronic dinosaurs.
Before taking up its permanent place in the exhibition, staff decided to recreate one of the most iconic scenes from the original Jurassic Park movie, with the Great Hall standing in for the film’s Grand Visitor Centre.
In the film’s climactic finale, the T-rex actually saves the main characters as it breaks in to the Centre and attacks the raptors which have them trapped.
Longleat’s Steve Mytton said: “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to set up the shot of a tyrannosaurus rex surrounded by the splendour and history of Longleat’s Great Hall.
“The Hall is one of the oldest surviving parts of Longleat House and dates back to Elizabethan times. However even its great age pales in to insignificance compared to the T-rex’s pedigree of more than 65 million years!
“While he was in the hall we took the opportunity to do some last-minute cleaning and a final inspection of his vicious-looking teeth to ensure he was in prime condition and ready to meet his new fans,” he added.
A pair of free-roaming dinosaurs have also been released around the estate and visitors are being advised to keep an eye out for some unexpected dinosaur encounters.