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Project

Belton's Stables project

The staircase leading to the second floor at the Belton Stables
The staircase leading to the second floor of Belton's Stables | © Jon Scrimshaw

The stables project uncovered and and restored the historic glory of Belton’s Grade I listed stables, including discovering a hidden roof and its original features. Find out more about the work that brought the stables back to life.

The historic stable block

The stable block, built in 1685, is recognised as being of ‘exceptional significance for its aesthetic and historical value’. It is one of only 21 Grade I listed stables in England, important for the number of original features still intact.

Restoration work at Belton Stables

Starting in 2016 this project stabilised the upper floors, preserved the historic features and employed craftspeople who are skilled in traditional building techniques, such as lime plastering and stone masonry.

Preserving the historic integrity of the stables

Original fixtures such as fireplaces and the 17th-century casement windows have been retained and restored in situ where possible.

A historic building survey illustrated exactly what the original lime mixtures used on the walls, floors and ceilings would have been and this information was used when making repairs. Where possible some sections have been left exposed so that the techniques used remain visible.

Under the roof

A laser-scan survey to capture the building in 3D, revealed a hidden secret about the Stable roof. The flat roof seen today was added some time in the 20th century, and it conceals the original M-shaped roof below.

Traditional Building Techniques used on Belton House Stables restoration
Traditional building techniques were used in the restoration of Belton House's stables | © Messenger Construction

A closer look at ‘layering’

A closer look was taken at the decorative materials applied to the walls and other surfaces of the ground floor stables and first-floor accommodation.

The decorative samples collected have been carefully documented for future reference and research. There is now a much clearer picture of the way these spaces were lived in and used until the 1970s.

The multiple layers of colourful floral and flocked wallpaper peeled from the first-floor rooms suggest the accommodation was surprisingly homely.

More than 600 paint samples were taken from the stalls, loose boxes and upper floors. The paint scrapes from the ground floor were matched to the national colour scheme tables and informed the choice of colour when the stalls were refurbished.

Searching the archives

The Belton Volunteer Research Team also lent a hand, having trawled through archival sources for clues about the building’s history which helped inform the overall historical analysis.

Key dates in the stables project

27 July 2019

The Stables Café Opens

After four years of planning and 18 months of construction work, the Stables Café is now open. Belton’s newly conserved and refurbished Café will offer you an entirely different dining experience within this beautiful historic setting.

Frosty view from the South Drive towards Belton House with sheep grazing

Donate

Everyone needs nature, now more than ever. Donate today and you could help nature flourish and ensure our shared history continues to inspire us all. Thank you for your continued support.

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