With over 35 main rooms and many other halls, corridors and bathrooms, Burghley is one of the biggest houses from the time of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603). Inside you can admire the exceptional example of the decorative style and furnishings of the Elizabethan age and outside there is plenty to see, such as the gardens, sculptures, and deer park.
William Cecil, who was largely influenced by the designs of the Duke of Somerset, created Burghley house between 1555 and 1587. William Cecil was born in Bourne, Lincolnshire and became very powerful as he worked as one of Elizabeth’s chief advisors for 40 years - longer than any other Tudor minister.
After a tumultuous history such as being bombed by Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War and enduring many renovations, Burghley House is now a peaceful place to look back into the 16th century. In fact, the rooms inside include many household items from the time such as paintings and porcelain collections which means that you can easily imagine the day-to-day lives the aristocracy lead within these rooms. A visit to the Old Kitchen is priceless as it remains original to Cecil’s design, allowing you to wander around, just like he did, so many years ago.
Don’t miss the Serpentine Lake designed by Lancelot Brown in the parklands which are listed Grade II on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Also worth noting is that the West Range of Burghley House looks similar to Somerset House in London, showing how Cecil was strongly influenced by the work of the Duke of Somerset.
Inside, you can see the collection of 17th-century Italian paintings and the earliest collection of Kakiemon Japanese ceramics ever recorded in western inventories, showing that the house’s history extends well beyond British borders.
For families, the grounds offer the Deer Park and the Garden of Surprises which are ideal for children who can spend an afternoon running around between the moss house, the mirror maze, and the water basins. For a more relaxed day, make a stop at the Sculpture Garden with a choice of exhibitions set amongst green lawns and lots of trees.
From the 17th March to 28th October 2018, the House and Gardens are open daily.