Beautiful Belton House!
I’m doing a series on lovely places I went to on my last trip to Europe which ended at the end of May. If you haven’t already, check out the photo essays on Venice and on the beautiful Isle of Canna in the Hebrides.
This time it’s the turn of a gorgeous stately home in Lincolnshire called Belton House which is a star in many ways, not least because it doubled as Rosings Park in the BBC Pride and Prejudice. It was fun going around and identifying rooms that they used in the show – the staircase picture in particular should bring back memories to fans of the series, but the gardens played their part too.
Belton is an extraordinarily popular National Trust property. I could hardly believe how many people were there on the cloudy Sunday we visited. Luckily the crowds mainly stayed out in the magnificent grounds so the house wasn’t too cramped. It’s been called “the perfect English country house,” and I can see why – it’s just such a classic example of the breed! It was built between 1685 and 1688 (reign of James II) and was the residence of the Brownlow and Cust families until it was given to the National Trust in 1984.
One of the most interesting parts of my day at Belton was a visit to the servants’ quarters downstairs in the cellars (my, that was cold!!!). No photographs were allowed but if you are lucky enough to go to the house, I recommend doing the guided tour. It gives you something of a reality check after the gilded glories of the rooms upstairs.
Anyway, enough of my waffle. Let’s get to the photos. I’d like to start with some pictures of that magnificent facade, so perfectly poised and balanced in that beautiful landscape.
I didn’t take a lot of photos of the interior but take my word for it, it was beautiful. I hope these shots give you some idea of how lovely it was. I’ve also included a picture of the wonderful Victorian conservatory with its goldfish and exotic plants. Quite the jungle!
And finally, some shots of the gorgeous gardens and the lovely Norman church that sits at the bottom of the garden. Many of the family are buried here so there are some really interesting memorials, including a touching one by the talented Nina Cust, a resident of the house. It’s a memorial to her philandering but adored husband Harry who died in 1927. When I was there, the Trust was making a feature of the many creative women who had lived in the house and I found Nina’s story particularly moving.