Burghley House

1128 Reviews

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Things to do


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September, 2019

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This is one of a series of detailed reviews I have written about Burghley House.

The remainder of the State Rooms along the south side of the house with their painted walls and ceilings, are completely different from those in the west and north wing. They are the work of the 5th Earl who employed Antonio Verrio, a renowned artist who enjoyed the patronage of the Stuart monarchs for over 30 years. These rooms are stunning with their silver decoration around the fireplaces and were intended for use by royalty and other important guests. The 5th Earl ran out of money and it was another 100 years before the rooms were finally completed by the 9th Earl

The FIRST GEORGE ROOM was the only room to have been completed by the time the 5th Earl died, although they were refurbished for a visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1844. This room has the first of the painted ceilings by Verrio with Day chasing Night. Walls are panelled with a carved and gilded frieze round the top. The white marble fireplace has silver decoration. There are some fine examples of Boulle furniture with intricate brass fretwork and tortoiseshell.

Off is a small room described as the JEWEL ROOM with another painted ceiling and is set up as a small offertory with a painting of Our Lord blessing the bread and wine by the C17th Italian painted Carlo Dolci.

The SECOND GEORGE ROOM with its views over the private formal gardens, is a sumptuous state bedroom with a small closet off. It was used by Queen Victoria and much of the furniture was bought specially for her visit. The centre piece is the state bed with its scarlet hangings. It was so high it needed a set of steps (supplied with a hidden chamber pot) to climb in.

There are lavish carved panels down the side of the doors and there is another splendid painted ceiling and fireplace. Panelled walls are covered with paintings or tapestries, which have views of Burghley House in the borders. 079.

The THIRD GEORGE ROOM was the state sitting room and features many important paintings bought by the 5th Earl which are displayed on the red silk hung walls. It is comfortably furnished with early C18th French style tapestry chairs and settees. The marquetry chests with gilded corners are actually commodes.

The FOURTH GEORGE ROOM was used by Queen Victoria as a withdrawing room and is furnished with more French style chairs and occasional tables, including a beautiful Marquetry table in the centre with a tortoiseshell, ivory and silver casket. Records show that the rich dark colour of the oak panelling was achieved by staining with ‘strong dark ale’. Against the back wall is an ebony marquetry cabinet set with pietra dura panels with fruit and flowers.


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