Re-presenting Belton House

Sitting room setting in Belton's Marble Hall

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. 

Belton's Marble Hall has been furnished as a sitting room once again
Re-presenting Belton House, Lincolnshire
Belton's Marble Hall has been furnished as a sitting room once again

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.

Take a seat and rest awhile
Take a seat and rest awhile in the Marble Hall at Belton House, Lincolnshire
Take a seat and rest awhile

Creative Women

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. 

Self-portrait by Nina Cust
Marble bust, Self'-portrait by Emmeline 'Nina' Mary Elizabeth Welby-Gregory, Mrs Henry John Cockayne-Cust (1867-1955)
Self-portrait by Nina Cust

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.

Decorative hollyhock textile panel, needlework by Marian Alford
Hollyhock textile hanging at Belton House by Lady Marian Alford
Decorative hollyhock textile panel, needlework by Marian Alford

We’re also telling the stories of two other Creative Women, Sophia Cust and Florence Woolward, on a trail in the gardens.

Timed entry key to access Belton House

House keys 

Belton is packed full of treasures and bursting with history. To ensure you get the best experience, and to help protect the historic collection, entry to the house is by timed entry key.