On a spectacularly sunny day in June I went to Belton House, a National Trust property in Lincolnshire. It has been in the possession of the Brownlow family since 1609, though its current design owes much to work ordered by Sir John Brownlow in 1684, and has some surprising historical connections – Edward VIII stayed there before his abdication and during World War One it housed a camp for the Machine Gun Corps. It was given to the National Trust in 1984.
The tour of the house is self-directed although there are timed guided tours of the downstairs available (which we chose not to do on this visit). There were some beautifully decorated rooms and items on display, some of which are highlighted below.
One area I really liked was the Staircase Hall which was used by important guests and not the family and which the National Trust has restored to how it would have looked in 1819.
Magnificent ceilings are a feature at Belton and one which definitely stood out for me was that of the Boudoir. Originally a bedroom it was remodeled as a dressing room in the neo-Classical style around 1776.
Another beautifully laid out room was the Library, which would originally have been the Drawing Room.
The Windsor Bedroom, so named because Edward VIII, a friend of the family, stayed there before his abdication was decorated in what felt a very modern style compared to the rest of the house.
But striking as that bed was it didn’t hold a candle to this one in the Queen’s bedroom, so named because Queen Adelaide, married to William IV stayed there in 1841. The braid, fringes and tassels of the bed are originals.
The gardens and park land are also well worth visiting, as is the parish church on site (which is not owned by the National Trust and which will feature in a separate post). The Italian Garden is on the site of what originally would have been part of the kitchen garden until it was remodeled around 1816.
We also took advantage of one of the Trust’s guided walks to explore the grounds which look much as they did in 1807 and they are the Trust’s only naturally maintained deer park.
This is just a small sample of the things to see and do at Belton. You can find many more photos at my Flickr here.