Some, like Burghley or Belton, are well known, while others like Grimsthorpe or Rockingham, have fewer visitors but can be equally fascinating. In winter, when these houses are closed, day trips to Cambridge, Ely and Lincoln are popular, and there are a great many fine churches within easy distance. Oakham Castle, built around 1180, is open all year and is well worth a visit.
You cannot visit Burghley without experiencing a feeling of awe – for this is the very largest and grandest of houses of the first Elizabethan Age — featuring glorious treasures – paintings, antiques, tapestries, furnishings, wood carvings, porcelain, sculptures and more.
Burghley has been the home of the Cecil family for more than 400 years. The house was built between 1565 and 1587 by William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I. The house remains a family home for his descendants and is presently occupied by Orlando and Miranda Rock.
Please Visit the official site http://www.burghley.co.uk/
The original site of Normanton Church would have placed it below the proposed water line of Rutland Water. St Matthew’s church, as it was then known, dated back to 1826 and was of considerable historic value. The Church now stands proudly by the side of Rutland Water and houses a museum with dinosaur fossils, and an Anglo-Saxon skeleton from the reservoir. It also has a fascinating video on the reservoir’s construction.
The main points of Exton Church are the remarkable monuments inside including Grinling Gibbon’s amazing monument to the Third Viscount Campden. According to Pevsner: “There are few churches in England in which English sculpture from the 16th century to the 18th century can be enjoyed so much.”
Grimsthorpe Castle is the grandest stately home in Lincolnshire. It can be found four miles north west of Bourne. Grimsthorpe Castle dates back to the 12th century and in 1516, Henry VIII granted the manor to the 10th Baron Willoughby de Eresby on his marriage to Maria de Salinas, kinswoman and lady-in-waiting to the Queen, Catherine of Aragon. It is still the home of the de Eresby family today.
Please Visit the official site www.grimsthorpe.co.uk
Belvoir (pronounced ‘Beaver’) is a fantastic site on the edge of a steep escarpment dominating the broad vale to the North. The Manners family was so old, well connected and wealthy even in 1816 when Wyatt built the present castle that one wonders why the design chosen owes so much to swagger and so little to convenience. Belvoir does of course house a wonderful collection and the statue garden is always worth a visit.
Please Visit the official site http://www.belvoircastle.com/
Belton is an Anglo-Dutch Restoration house built in the last years of Charles II’s reign. The house was designed by the gentleman-architect William Winde and built between 1685 and 1688. It is H-shaped with honey-coloured symmetrical facades crowned by a cupola. A broad flight of steps leads up to a pedimented entrance, which is offset by the steeply pitched roof with domestic dormer windows.