As it is going to take me forever and a day to get through the remainder of the SE Asia trip and Australia blog-wise, I thought I would jump to a more current event and switch to England. Perhaps I will try to work in the remainder of the trip alternately with more current stories, but for this post it is back to England and our visit to Burghley House earlier in March.
Burghley House near Stamford in Lincolnshire calls itself England’s greatest Elizabethan House. Designed and built by William Cecil, the 1st Lord Burghley (1520 – 1598), who was Lord High Treasurer and Chief Minister to Queen Elizabeth l.
The house is impressive at first glance and right away you can see the two things I love most about this grand English home – 1. The roofline, as in the number of intricate and detailed chimneys and towers – and 2. That massive gold door/gate that was once the main entrance, reflecting the afternoon sun. Here’s a closer look at the gate.
Now I have to alter what I just typed about my favourite parts. As I was equally impressed by the kitchen. especially the ceiling. I think because most times the kitchen is in the lower level of the house and feels slightly cramped, (as an example in Downton Abbey.) My words at the time were something to the effect of “Wow I think this is the coolest kitchen we have ever seen!” The high arching ceiling and the gleaming copper were great eye catchers accented by the moose head and the massive stove and oven. They even had a working spit going in front of the fireplace which, sorry, is not pictured.
Just outside the kitchen lining the upper walls were all the bells to ring for service. These were across from the old fire buckets hanging respectfully on their pegs, hopefully never to be used, but ready and waiting if need be.
You can see by the number of bells there are many corresponding rooms in this stately home. I won’t show you them all but here are a few highlights. First a view of the chapel.
Further along was the Blue Silk Dressing Room. I thought it was a different and effective way to display the vases, some of them dating back to an inventory taken of the house in 1688, in a stair step fashion above the fireplace.
I took this picture of a mirror reflection in the third George Room of the State Rooms. What I was thinking at the time was how gallery walls are all the style now, but this is nothing new as many of these stately homes have always had gallery walls. (yes in a slightly more impressive way!)
Going back to the Second George Room and the 18th century State Bed, which was refitted and refurbished for a three day visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1844.
Gloves worn by the Queen on her visit.
The murals in The Heaven Room depict a mythological heaven with gods and goddesses by the artist Verrio.
In the adjacent Hell Staircase, by stark contrast, this mural also by Verrio, depicts his version of the entrance to hell as a cat’s mouth. You can see the eyes of the cat upside down! at the top of the picture.
That was a brief tour through the house. There are grounds to explore, a small lake, a garden of surprises, and a sculpture garden. Also a nice tea room in The Orangery and a lovely gift shop. An introductory visual presentation in the Brewhouse Centre gives an entertaining history of the house through film reenactment and conversations of former owners of Burghley. Special events are held throughout the year and one event they are well known for is the Burghley Horse Trials held yearly.
I will be taking a blog break for a couple of weeks but will most likely be updating on Instagram in the meantime. Hope you have a Happy April!!