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Belton House

Belton House was built in 1685-8 for Sir John Brownlow. The design, probably provided by William Winde, was executed by the mason-contractor William Stanton. Sir John employed first-class craftsmen, including the carpenter Edward Willcox and the plasterer Edward Goudge, to create a series of rich and opulent interiors which rank with the finest Baroque decoration in the country. The local carver Edmund Carpenter was responsible for much of the woodcarving in the house, while some carvings have been attributed to Grinling Gibbons. Neo-classical alterations were made in the 18th century and early 19th century; however in the 1870s, the 3rd Earl Brownlow decided to restore the house to its original splendour and commissioned some remarkable neo-Caroline interiors.

Visitor Information

Address:
Grantham,
Lincolnshire,
England,
NG32 2LS

Telephone: 01476 566116

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house

Accredited Museum

Belton House, Lincolnshire (Accredited Museum)

This collection has 19,080 items online

Belton House’s huge collection contains a range of family portraits from 16th-20th century, including superb examples from 17th-century England, including Frederic Lord Leighton’s full-length portrait of Lady Brownlow. Philip Mercier’s conversation piece featuring Lord and Lady Tyrconnel in the park at Belton is another highlight, as are the decorative pictures by Melchior de Hondecoeter, and architectural drawings relating to Belton by Wyatt, Wyatville and Salvin. The prized porcelain collection at Belton reflects how collectors’ tastes changed over the generations, with Chinese beakers from 1600-44 featuring alongside extremely rare, late 18th-century black-ground Sévres porcelain from c.1780. Similarly, the silver collection varies widely: Thomas Heming’s service for Sir John Cust upon both occasions of him becoming Speaker of the House of Commons is outstanding, as are the early 18th-century sconces from the Royal household, and a set of four William and Mary oval pilgrim bottles from ‘Young’ Sir John’s display plate. A jewel in the furniture collection is a 17th-century architectonic cabinet veneered entirely in lapis lazuli, while other highlights within the house are the numerous late 17th-century limewood carvings in the manner of Grinling Gibbons. Belton houses the Trust’s second largest library (11,000 titles, 5,500 of which were printed before 1801), magnificently rich in many areas, particularly in early continental books, music and pamphlets. In the garden, an early 18th-century carving of Father Time with a cherub as a sundial and the statue walk of 18th-century Italian personifications of Elements are both special features.

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