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Visiting Belton House

View of Belton House in the winter from the South Drive
Belton has a stark, magical beauty in the winter | © National Trust / Michael Kent

Sometimes described as the 'perfect' English country house estate, Belton was built in the late 17th century by 'Young' Sir John Brownlow. Home to the same family for nearly 300 years, Sir John's heirs also made their mark on Belton, commissioning the finest designers and craftsmen of their age.

The mansion will be reopening on Saturday 2 March.

Christmas in the Mansion has finished and the mansion is now closed for its winter clean. Thank you to everyone who visited and supported us during 2023. The mansion will reopen on Saturday 2 March 2024, and we're looking forward to welcoming you back then.

Spotlight on Conservation

The popular Spotlight Sessions at Belton are returning for 2024! Spend time with our mansion team to see the conservation work they do while the mansion is closed to free flow visitors. We’ll open a changing selection of rooms for this experience throughout the year. The team will be starting off inside the family flat – taking you behind the scenes to an area located off the typical visitor route.

Running on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while the mansion is closed to free flow visitors. You can book now for March dates.

The mansion will be reopening on Saturday 2 March. The mansion is open for free flow visits Thursday – Monday, 11am – 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). On these days you can explore the upper ground floor and first floor at your own pace and discover a collection rich in global history. You can also pick up our short guide to Belton House, with information on all the rooms on display.

The Servants' Challenge!

The Brownlows are looking for new servants at Belton and are inviting anyone interested to prove their worth through a series of challenges.

You will be led through several rooms in the basement and given the opportunity to engage in a series of interactive puzzles within immersive spaces. Would you make it as a servant in the 1800s?

If you think this opportunity is for you, please discover more and book onto a slot here.

Black servants bells on display on a wooden board
Would you make it as a servant in the 1800s? | © ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Explore the rooms at Belton House

The Marble Hall was designed as the main entrance and the first in a procession of grand rooms. In the Victorian period, its function changed dramatically into an area of familial comfort, with large rugs, plants, and seating in place.

Look out for the overmantel carvings in the Marble Hall, from c1688, one side is attributed to Grinling Gibbons and the other is carved by Edmund Carpenter.

Detail of the tapestry by John Vanderbank, (d1727), Chief Arras Worker of the Great Wardrobe, in the Chapel Drawing Room at Belton House
Detail of the tapestry by John Vanderbank, (d1727) in the Chapel Drawing Room | © National Trust Images/John Hammond

Walking through the house you'll come across the Chapel Drawing Room, which is a rare example of decor that dates from the building of the house in 1683-1685. If you had visited Belton in the 1690s you would have been in no doubt that this was one of the most opulent rooms in the house. What is now subdued gree/blue marbling was originally bright lapis blue with white and gold flecks. No doubt Lord Tyrconnel enjoyed looking out to Bellmount Tower which he had built as part of significant alterations to the grounds in his later year.

A close-up of Chinese wallpaper at Belton House, depicting bamboo, climbing plants and birds, with human figures in the foreground.
Chinese wallpaper at Belton House | © National Trust Images/Martin Trelawny

Upstairs you'll discover the Chinese Bedroom with wallpaper that was hand painted in China and intended for export. The pink background, now faded, and the inclusion of figures were stylistic adaptations to appeal to European consumers. This paper was hung in 1830 but probably made much earlier.

By the 19th century a Chinese bedroom or drawing room had become an almost expected element of the British country house. They were associated with women, where the ladies of the house would receive members of their family and more intimate friends.

Before heading back downstairs you'll visit the Windsor Bedroom. This room is named in honour of Belton's association with Edward VIII, the british monarch who abdicated in 1936 so he could marry Mrs Wallis Simpson, a divorcee. Peregrine Cust, 6th Baron Brownlow was a close friend and Lord-in-waiting to the King. He accompanied Mrs Simpson to France at the height of the scandal and, to protect the monarchy, he encouraged her to renounce her relationship with Edward.

Belton Today

Belton's collection tells a story rich in global history and our future work will focus on bringing those stories to life.

Explore the house at your leisure and, while there is no particular route to follow, you may find it useful to pick up our new guide to Belton House, with information on all the rooms in the house. If you would like to take it home as a souvenir, we ask for a £2 donation to cover printing costs.

The deer herd at Belton in the frosty parkland

Discover more at Belton

Find out everything you need to know about visiting Belton, including how to get here, things to see and do on your visit, and more.

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