National Trust Property in Lincolnshire
Greetings! This weekend's adventure took us to Belton House in Lincolnshire. Belton House was north of Burghley House and Grimsthorpe Castle, and also just off of the A1. It is situated in Belton near Grantham. The house sits on over 1300 acres of land and is often referred to as a traditional English country estate. The architecture of Belton is Carolean or Restoration style, which was popular in England following the restoration of the monarchy in the 1660 until the 1680s, after Charles II. Belton House is a National Trust property. The guides at the National Trust properties are FANTASTIC and so helpful.
Belton House: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house
Belton House has been in the Brownlow and Cust families for over three hundred years. The land for the house was purchased in the late sixteenth century by Richard Brownlow, who was appointed to the very important and very lucrative position of Chief Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas. I am not sure what all of that means, but one of the wonderful guides said in layman's terms, he was a tax collector for Queen Elizabeth I. Richard Brownlow was interested in investing in land and spent a lot of his income on land in Lincolnshire. This proved lucrative for future generations. Construction of the home did not actually begin until 1685 when the land belonged to Sir John Brownlow. The land and House passed through many Brownlow and Custs families, who did various things to the home. Belton House was given to the National Trust in 1984.
The tour started on the side of the house. This is the courtyard entrance to the tour.
The tour started in the Anteroom, which led into the Study.
After the Study, we went into the Tapestry Room. Tapestries were a sign of wealth back in the day, so the more you had and displayed, the more wealthy you appeared. I noticed a lot of pictures of the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson in this room, so I asked the guide what connection the Duke had to Belton House. Apparently, Peregrine "Perry" Adelbert Cust, the 6th Baron of Brownlow, who inherited Belton in 1927, was a close friend of the Duke of Windsor, while he was king and was even appointed Lord in Waiting. He advised Edward VIII (his name as king), to move Wallis to France to prevent an abdication, since the government would not recognize the marriage of the King to Wallis. Perry even persuaded Wallis to give up the King and sign a statement to that effect on 7 December 1936. The King rejected this and ended up abdicating on 10 December. And naturally, Perry fell out of favor with the family. According to the guide, when the current Queen, Elizabeth II, was getting married in 1947, the invitation to her wedding was addressed to Lady Brownlow only.
After the Tapestry room, it was into the Marble Hall.
The Marble Hall led us to the Staircase Hall, which was rather impressive.
Next was the Saloon.
This was the view from the ceiling room. The gardens looked lovely, but we were dealing with some remnants of Storm Hannah, so we didn't get to go into the gardens...oh well that just means we have to go back!
Coat of arms in the Tyrconnel Room
Cabinet Room. This is where you will find the famous lapis lazuli cabinet.
Chinese Bedroom. This was the room the Duke of Windsor liked to stay in.
Queen's Room. This room was named for Queen Adelaide, the widow of William IV.
I think my favorite room was the Library.
Windsor Bedroom and Windsor Bathroom. These were the most modern rooms at Belton. The Windsor Bedroom is the only room with an attached en suite. This room was used by Prince Charles when he was a cadet at the nearby RAF base.
West Staircase. Not as bright as Staircase Hall.
The Breakfast Room led into the the Dining Room and the Red Drawing Room. The Dining Room was used for entertaining and in the evening the men would stay in the Dining Room while the ladies would retreat into the Red Drawing Room
Red Drawing Room. The guide mentioned the room was being prepared for a restoration project, so furniture had been moved around.
We also opted for the Basement Tour, but unfortunately, photography was not allowed. The tour was interesting because it covered life as a servant in the house and in the times of Belton and how the house changed to meet evolving needs. One interesting note was the importance of beer. As a servant, if you missed a meal you just had to go hungry; however, the beer served with the meal was saved for you.
We will definitely have to return to Belton House to visit the park and gardens. I also wouldn't mind another look at the House.
On to the next adventure!