Re-presenting Belton House
The 3rd Earl Brownlow introduced some significant changes to mansion while it was in his care. In contrast to the formality of his predecessors, some of his designs were influenced by a desire to reflect domesticity and hospitality. And, for the first time this year, visitors are now able to experience this Victorian informality for themselves.
As part of the transformation, the Earl moved the mansion entrance from the grand Marble Hall to the West Courtyard door. It was an entrance on a more human scale that offered an inviting and intimate welcome.
The classical, rather austere Marble Hall was then transformed into a relaxed, typically Victorian sitting room, cluttered with comfortable armchairs, plants and occasional tables.
Substantial changes also took place in other areas of the house. The library was moved to the first floor and incorporated a study/morning room; the boudoir was decorated to the feminine tastes of Lady Brownlow, and the dining room was moved to its current location to display the Earl’s massive Hondecoeter paintings and locate it closer to the new mansion kitchens.
Enjoy a seat and rest awhile in the Marble Hall
In 2017, Belton’s Curator considered ways of presenting the house as it would have been used by the 3rd Earl and his family. The Marble Hall has been furnished as a sitting room once again, with comfortable seating, books and magazines you’re welcome to sit and read – just as the family and their guests would have done in the late-19th-century.
Each year we highlight a different aspect of Belton’s 300 year history and this year Creative Women tells the stories of four women whose lives, relationships and artistic talents are woven into the spirit of the place.
On your visit through the mansion you can learn more about the creative talents of two of these women. Marian Alford and Nina Cust, embroiderer and sculptor respectively, received national recognition in their day for the quality of their work. Both women married men destined to inherit Belton but who died before they could take up their titles. Pick up a self-led trail guide to follow their stories through displays of their work in the house.