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Pictures of Burghley House

a Historic Building in the town of Stamford, in the county of Lincolnshire

About Burghley House

This is a graceful house which perfectly epitomises the wealth of the prosperous Elizabethan period. Burghley was completed in the 1580's, it is a building with extraordinary glamour, its many spires, cupolas and tall chimneys draw the eye from whatever direction. Burghley was always intended to be lavish, it was built by William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I for almost forty years, and it was here that Cecil entertained the great and the good of his times including Queen Elizabeth I. Although there is a notable bedroom in the house called the Queen Elizabeth Bedroom, it is said that owing to an outbreak of small-pox on the day she visited, Elizabeth I never actually stayed at Burghley but was a frequent visitor to William Cecil's other houses.

Burghley House possesses fabulous state apartments, filled with fine furniture, pictures, tapestries and outstanding paintings. It is though, the painted walls and ceilings of many of the rooms that are one of Burghley's most captivating features. Mostly these are by Antonio Verrio and Louis Laguerre (1663-1721). The famous Heaven Room is a triumph of swirling, barely clad figures. In other rooms Verrio uses the same technique, covering ceilings with scantily dressed gods and goddesses, beautiful brightly feathered peacocks and putti. One such bedchamber was used by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, amused or not Victoria could not have failed to appreciate the legacy of Verrio's outstanding art. A more restrained room is the elegant Black and Yellow Bedroom, this was used in 1936 by their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother when they were Duke and Duchess of York. The room has magnificent drapes covering a huge bed from the 18th-century, fine furniture and paintings. The Blue Silk Bedroom has a painting of the Virgin and Child by Gentileschi, and in the Pagoda Room there are portraits of the Cecil family, Queen Elizabeth I and Henry VIII.

Other rooms include the dining room, the great kitchens with their huge collection of gleaming copper, the George suite of rooms, and the family chapel with its many historic treasures including Francesco Bossano's masterpiece "The Agony in the Garden", there are many other rooms, sweeping handsomely carved staircases, and a Billiard room.

From almost every room of this grand house there are unrivalled views over Capability Brown's beautiful landscaped gardens which make a dramatic setting for an equally dramatic house. The gardens, the very essence of tranquillity, offer beautiful walks around Capability Brown's stunning lake. You can take time over the lovely arboretum and sculpture park where you can see attractive works by contemporary artists, and for the very young there is a delightful tableaux of a Teddy Bears Picnic in a shaded walled garden. In the grounds you can also see a restored 18th-century Ice House and Capability Brown's Orangery.

Burghley House has remained the home of the Cecil family for over four hundred years. It forms the spectacular setting for the renowned Burghley Horse Trials, held each autumn.

Burghley House is open to the public from March until October each year.

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