by Victoria Hinshaw
The property was already ancient when the Manners arrived. The first castle, almost a thousand years ago, was built overlooking the Vale of Belvoir after the Norman Conquest by Robert de Todeni, standard bearer for William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The present castle, remodeled and rebuilt beginning in 1799, is the fourth to stand here. Designed in the popular Regency-era style of Gothick Revival, Belvoir has turrets, towers and battlements that serve no purpose beyond decoration.
I visited a few years ago with Kristine Hughes, and several good friends who love the Regency era. Upon our approach, we were accosted by a pair of highwaymen who abducted Kristine’s daughter, Brooke, and writer Diane Gaston, captured in the pictures.
Upon entry, one is confronted with the gateroom, a vast collection of spears, swords, muskets, hatchets, shields, and armor. Very impressive.
In one of the hallways, there is a long row of leather buckets, for use in putting out fires. The Bucket Brigade.
The castle houses priceless collections of artwork and decorative objects. Among my favorites are the magnificent family portraits by Gainsborough, Reynolds and Lawrence.
Many of the rooms are splendid beyond belief, the very height of Regency elegance. In fact, scenes in The Young Victoria were filmed here, as a stand-in for Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle.
Take a virtual tour of Belvoir here.
Since my words cannot adequately describe the castle, here are a few more lovely pictures for you. To me, this is eye candy indeed.