Pictures of England


Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

A picture of Bardney

Bardney in the county of Lincolnshire

Bay at New Polzeath in early evening. Walk left on Beach for just yards to Polzeath.

New Polzeath in the county of Cornwall

Pictures of Belvoir Castle

a Castle in the town of Grantham, in the county of Lincolnshire

About Belvoir Castle

A castle has stood on this spot since the 11th-century, it was built by Robert de Todini, standard-bearer to William the Conqueror. By the 16th-century, when it was in a ruinous state it was presented to the powerful Manners family, who where later to become the Dukes of Rutland. Sir Thomas Manners, Ist Earl of Rutland started to rebuild the castle in around 1523, at the time of his death in 1543, the castle was still not finished. It passed to his eldest son Henry, who complete the castle in 1555, the work had taken over thirty years. Interestingly, Sir Thomas's younger son married into the Vernon family in 1567, and thus acquired Haddon Hall in Derbyshire.

The Civil War saw the castle demolished when it was surrendered to Roundhead troops. John, 8th Earl of Rutland began the second rebuild, he also supervised the laying out of the grounds. The 9th Earl was created Marquis of Granby and Duke of Rutland in 1703.

At the turn of the 19th-century, the castle was ravaged by fire, and so began the building of the ornate, richly decorated castle we see today. The dramatic hill top setting forms a perfect backdrop for Belvoir, which has a fairy-tale confection of towers and turrets of all shapes and sizes. The matchless beauty of the castle's fabled mellow stone exterior is exceeded only by the ornate decoration to the magnificent rooms within.

The grand staircase rises towards magnificent vaulting which continues above the landing. The sumptuous Ballroom is in exactly the same style and here you can imagine the lavish entertainment of yester-year. The most elegant room in the castle is the Elizabeth Saloon - it has a painted ceiling by Wyatt and everywhere there is glittering gold decoration. In the Grand Dining Room a swirl of light is reflected in the amazing arched mirrors set around the room, this room also possesses a richly decorated ceiling. The Picture Gallery has many fine paintings including Holbien's Henry VIII. The longest room in the castle is the Regent's Gallery, here you can see magnificent tapestries and paintings. All the bedrooms on show have elegant furnishings and wonderful decoration. Many of the rooms feature fine silver, exquisite porcelain and glass. From almost every room in the castle there are unrivalled views over the grounds to the surrounding countryside.

In the chapel you can see the tomb of Robert de Todini who way back in the mists of time built the first Belvoir Castle. He was originally buried in the chapel of the Benedictine Priory he had built in neighbouring Lincolnshire. When the priory fell into disrepair in the 18th-century, his Norman tomb was discovered and taken back to the chapel at Belvoir. Robert de Todini died in 1088.

On a further note of interest, the Belvoir foxhound was first bred close to the castle in the 18th-century, hence it took its name from Belvoir Castle.

The fabulous Spring garden has been recently restored by the Duchess of Rutland. There is weekly limited access to castle and grounds during the summer months.

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