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Belton House

©NTPL/Rupert Truman

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Belton House is one of England's finest historic stately homes from the Restoration period. It is built in the style of an old French mansion and is reached through the Lion Gates, along a mile-long avenue to the grand stone-built house.

Built in the late 17th century Belton House has retained its stunning interior décor with detailed plasterwork, glittering mirrors and elaborate wood carving in many rooms.

The house contains an exceptional collection of Old Masters, antique furniture pieces, tapestries and fine silverware. The impressive rooms currently display examples of 17th century, Regency, Victorian and 1930s styles.

In the 19th century, Belton House was fortunate to have been owned by the dynamic 3rd Earl Brownlow, who spent lavishly on
©NTPL/Graham Challifour
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both the house and estate, restoring them to their earlier grandeur.

Some of the unique highlights which can be enjoyed on a tour of the grand house are the marble entrance hall with its striking floor, the gracious saloon and the Chinese Room, hung with gorgeous 18th century Chinese wallpaper and finished with bamboo trim.

Tapestry lovers will find the collection of 18th century tapestries most enlightening in their purpose built room. The tapestries were made at the Mortlake factory and include one of the Greek philosopher Diogenes, who supposedly gave up his worldly possessions and lived in a barrel!

Paintings include works by Joshua Reynolds and Grinling Gibbons, who is better known for his woodwork. There are beautiful portraits of the Brownlow family such as the full length paintings of "Young" Sir John Brownlow, builder of the house, with his wife. There are also portraits of several of their five daughters. Their youngest daughter, Margaret, whose portrait can be seen in the Saloon, tragically died of smallpox on the eve of her marriage. The family tales, mementos and pictures are what truly bring this family home vividly to life.

Belton House was known for its lavish hospitality and has entertained many members of royalty including George III. More recently, Edward VIII
©NTPL/Ian Shaw
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stayed in the Chinese Room several times prior to his abdication. Visitors today can enjoy the same delightful walks in the English, Italian and French gardens.

Belton House is perfectly complemented by its superb formal gardens which offer a great variety of plants for every season. The Orangery, with its exotic blooms, was built in 1820 against the old brick walls of the original manor house.

The unusual Dutch Garden centres around Lord Tyconnell's sundial with a statue of Time which was created by Caius Gabriel Cibber. The ornamental urn in the garden is an interesting memorial to the family's favourite dogs, set amidst the clipped yew hedges.

Other garden features to explore are the maze, mirror pond and wildflower meadows which lead down to the lake with its restored boathouse. The River Witham runs through the grounds and makes a superb natural feature.

For younger members of the family, Lincolnshire's largest adventure playground can be found here. There is plenty of open space in the landscaped 35-acres of parkland which were designed by William Emes in the style of Capability Brown. The canal and temple make interesting focal points.

No top National Trust property is complete without a well-stocked shop and restaurant, both of which can be found at Belton House.

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Directions

By Bus:
Stagecoach in Lincolnshire 1 Grantham-Lincoln; Centrebus 609 Grantham-Sleaford (both pass close Grantham railway station)

By road:
3 miles north east of Grantham on A607 Grantham-Lincoln road, easily reached and signposted from A1

By train:
Grantham 3 miles

Belton House Postcode for SatNav: NG32 2LS

Contact

 
Tel:
01476 566116
Fax:
01476 542980
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