Saturday, 7 April 2012

G is for Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire

Grimsthorpe Castle was originally a small 13th century castle on the crest of a ridge guarding the Great North Road from marauding invaders across the fen lands.
Heraldic Embroidery

The de Eresby family, who continue to own the estate, enlarged the castle around 1540, and then in 1722 instructed Sir John Vanbrugh to add a north front, before enlisting Capability Brown to design a great garden in the mid 1750s.
Sir John Vanbrugh incorporated elements
in his design to create a feeling of a fortress

Further alterations were made in the early 1800s so the house now is not a castle in the strict sense of the word, though its character is massive and martial – the towers and outlying pavilions recalling the bastions of a great fortress in classical dress.

There is even more history here – the Tudors took over the property from the previous owner, who had supported the Plantagenet kings of England, with Henry VIII (1491 – 1547) granting the estate to one of his loyal supporters.

There's been a garden at Grimsthorpe since the early 1500s 
Through marriage the holding increased, while for a brief period during Mary Tudor’s succession (1553 – 1558) they had to relinquish the land owing to their Anglican views, but during Elizabeth I’s reign (1559 – 1603), the family returned.

Originally the estate was part of the great Lincolnshire forest, with its medieval deer and Tudor oak parks .  Oak trees were recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 and were shown in drawings of the park in the early 18th C, which may well have still been alive in the 20th C.

Topiary and garden view to Grimsthorpe Castle
The house contains wonderful tapestries, paintings, coronation robes and plate, while to wander through the expansive gardens with their beautiful flower borders will bring delight to many a heart.

There is a great deal to see at Grimsthorpe – both in the grounds and in the Castle:  it sounds like a wonderful place to visit to see a wide range of historical detail and artefacts ... Chinese wallpaper, Vanbrugh’s painted ceiling lit by a Venetian window, to name a few ...

I think! these are escutcheons - but I loved the
workmanship ... 
The estate is managed by a family trust in conjunction with Drummond Castle, Perthshire in Scotland, which I have not featured in this ABC of Castles ...

That is G for Grimsthorpe Castle – a parkland castle with wonderful history attached to it ... part of the ABC series Aspects of British Castles

Bob Scotney featured Fotheringhay Castle and Mary Queen of Scots yesterday

All the photos for this post came from the Grimsthorpe Castle website ... there is a great deal to see ... 

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Diane said...

I have never been to Lincolnshire so I have definitely not been here. It looks beautiful and well worth a visit. The gardens are stunning. Thanks for sharing this one. Diane


I think this castle looks wonderful Hilary, you have given me ideas for the summer.
We are lucky to have such heritage don't you think?

Have a good Easter week-end.


Unknown said...

I'd never heard of Grimsthorpe Castle, Hilary, and it looks wonderful. The grounds look as interesting as the building itself. Capability Brown must have been so busy!

Fascinating stuff! I must pay Grimsthorpe Castle a visit one of these days!

Hope you're having a wonderful Easter weekend.

Jo said...

Another castle I had heard of due to being at school in Lincolnshire. Looks a wonderful place with great landscaping. Capability Brown really knew his stuff.

Enjoying your series Hilary.

Luanne G. Smith said...

Quite the formidable home, though I don't think I would have enjoyed being tossed out of such splendor due to a regime change. :)

Unknown said...

Wow, it may not officially be a castle but it looks grand to me. Love the intricate details on the house and pillars. I found it interesting how the house changed hands based on monarchs.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Awesome. Coming back here to read more. We want to go to England next year and this is good research!

I am trying to read all the A to Z blogs, but coming back to the ones I really like.
Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

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T. Powell Coltrin said...

Another new one for me: Grimsthorpe Castle.

Worse than never owning a castle would be to be forced to relinquish it to another.


Davina said...

The architecture is outstanding. The grounds are gorgeous. I wonder how long it would take to tour a castle? I wouldn't want to do it all in one day I don't imagine. I'd rather take my time and take it all in casually. There is so much to see. The historic artefacts would slow me down as I'd be awestruck.

beccabooklover said...

I haven't heard of Grimsthorpe but it looks wonderful and the grounds look lovely! Another great post :)

Bob Scotney said...

I've driven by Grimsthorpe hundreds of times but never stopped to look at the castle and certainly didn't know it was so impressive. Wish I had now.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane .. this is one of my favourites and one I want to visit - that's for sure ..

@ Yvonne .. well that's good - if I've given you ideas for a summer visit. I totally agree with you, I love our heritage .. and wouldn't be without it ..

@ Shirley .. nor had I heard of it - the contents here must be amazing to look at and learn about ..

Some of these entrepreneurs /professionals are so prolific in their designs - architecture, landscapes etc etc .. Capability Brown being one of them ..

I definitely agree - Grimsthorpe looks very worth while visiting ..

All well here thank you ..

@ Jo .. well at least you know what I'm talking about!! Good to know - and like Shirley .. that Capability Brown knew his stuff ..

Thanks so much for saying your enjoying the series ..

@ Luanna - It was the time of the Reformation .. the split between Protestant Europe and Catholic Europe - spreading via Henry VIII to England and his rejection of the Pope. So Kings or Queens ruled according to their religion ..

@ Clarissa - adding to my reply to Luanna - it was the monarch's religion .. or in Henry VIII's case - he actually brought Protestant religion to England by finding it expedient to reject his Catholic faith - so he could annull Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.

@ Timothy lovely to see you here -

That will be great to see you in the UK .. and am so pleased to hear you think the castle series is worth coming back to ..

I'll catch you sometime soon ..

@ Teresa - Grimsthorpe seems quite special .. as I mentioned above - it's allegiance to the wrong monarch, or having the wrong religion .. such was life!

@ Davina - isn't the place amazing - the photos on their site are stupendous.

Your time - probably reasonably quickly the first time, so you can get a feel for the place. Then go back and review and double-check everything .. and then of course - there's the parkland, the house, the outside and inside .. so perhaps a few visits??!!

@ Becca - many thanks .. so many castles in this little land of ours with so much to explore ..

@ Bob - we've selected different castles again I'm pleased to say ..

Lincolnshire isn't my neck of the woods - but I too will stop next time I'm around ..

Thanks so much for coming by and commenting - have very happy and blessed Easter Days .. cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, those beautiful gardens!

A very happy Easter Sunday to you from me and Jen XXX
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Chuck said...

This one looks gorgeous...maybe the best looking so far. I might even get my wife interested in taking a trip...and ya know that's half the battle! I really like your theme this year Hilary.

Robyn Campbell said...

Look at the garden and topiary. Absolutely beautiful, Hilary! I've never heard of it Grimsthorpe. What a magnificent castle. Love it!

Karen Lange said...

Looks like a wonderful place, Hilary! Thank you for letting me "travel" with you! :)

Have a lovely weekend,

Juliet said...

What a rich sense of history is coming through your castle posts, Hilary. Thinking of those oak trees growing for 2 centuries - it's awe-inspiring!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ann - beautiful everything I think - it looks to be a stunning castle and parkland and garden.

@ Chuck - I agree .. and I'm sure your wife would love this castle - and there are lots of magnificent houses with renowned gardens to look round - let alone all the other places! Worth a visit I think .. hope you get here ..

@ Robyn - the topiary is fun isn't it .. and I'm glad I found out about it ..

@ Karen - exactly Karen .. a wonderful place - delighted you're enjoying yourself ..

@ Juliet - lots of history here - and those oaks have seen more than 200 years - more like 800 - 1,000 years as they were mentioned in the Domesday book - it's hard to comprehend isn't it! Exactly - awe-inspiring .. the right words

Thanks Ann, Chuck, Robyn, Karen and Juliet - have a glorious Easter Day .. it's drizzling here = bliss!!

Cheers Hilary

Lynn said...

I'm catching up today - love this castle, too. You are remarkably finding castles that start with all the letters of the alphabet. Cheers Hilary!

Manzanita said...

I've often wondered what it would be like to actually live in a castle and in my day dreams, I've placed myself there. Your castle theme arouses the imagination and I can see the lords and ladies in their social activities.
(Dreamer, that I am) :)

Susan Scheid said...

Amazing to think there's been a garden at Grimsthorpe since the 1500's. That's such a difficult thing to sustain, amidst all the changing times. I hope I get to visit one day.

Happy Easter to you and your Mom.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to do a link back Monday for your blog. Who doesn't like a series about castles? And that's a long time to keep a garden up and running.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - there's plenty of Castles .. glad you enjoyed this one.

@ Manzanita - back then I'm not sure how it would have been! Fine if you were one of the nobles .. not so sure about menial workers - but you had a roof and food of some sort.

Dreaming as a noble woman - that sounds fun ..

@ Susan - these Parkland settings for the Castles are well established .. and I imagine the Continent was influencing the introduction of gardens here in England round that time ..

I think Grimsthorpe would be well worth a visit?!

Thanks for your wishes re my Mama - she's seemed reasonably comfortable and at peace ..

@ Steve - many thanks for the link tomorrow -

Well fortunately a few seem to enjoy reading about Castles .. and 500 years for a garden is a long time isn't it ... but it looks beautiful ..

Cheers Lynn, Manzanita, Susan and Steve - hope you're having Happy Easter days .. and not eating too many chocolates?! Byeeee - Hilary

Eliza Wynn said...

Great theme! I thoroughly enjoy reading about castles.

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Sarah Tokeley said...

Beautiful pictures. I confess, I had no idea there was a castle in Lincolnshire!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, what a massive place!

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

This is one of the things I just *love* about England - that ancient history, and those old buildings, so evocative of ages past.

Great idea for your A-Z challenge, Hilary!

Judy, South Africa

Ella said...

Amazing! I have to go back and see what I have missed~
Enlarge a castle cracked me up! I guess on traditional standards, it isn't standard, but I agree with Clarissa. It looks grand, to me too!

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
Sorry I've been unable to keep up with it all. It's almost three thirty in the morning and bleary-eyed, I've finally reached your superb blog.
So "G", here I am :) Like most places in Britain, this castle is not that far from me. You make me want to go and visit more castles with all this amazing information you so kindly put forward. The last castle I visited is near Ashbourne and starts with the letter "T". Never mind, with bleary eyes, I shall now go and return to my site. Which reminds me, thanks for the comments on my site that are strangely not showing up but only via emails.
Cheers, Gary

Suze said...

I've never seen creatures sheared into topiary but would love to.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Eliza - many thanks - hope you enjoy the rest of the posts ..

@ Sarah - I find out so much via blogging .. and I didn't know about half (or perhaps even more) of the castles I'm posting on - and certainly their history had eluded me - so no shame for you!!

@ Alex - it is enormous isn't it - but the Vanderbilts' mansions must match up .. just not so old!

@ Judy - glad you're enjoying the theme. We just seem to be able to learn so much more in this digital age .. I've learnt so much recently. As you say they do evoke so much. Great to see you back ..

@ Ella - great .. enjoy your read .. You're right pointing out the 'ridiculousness' of enlarging a castle .. but the wealthy acquire more don't they ....

It does look grand - very grand.

@ Gary - thanks for persevering with commenting .. and I wouldn't be up at 3.30am commenting!! Good for you ??????

You are almost in the centre of England aren't you - me too .. I think I'll be doing some exploring of castles in the future ..

Can't find your T Castle in Derbyshire .. but no - I'm not doing that one anyway!

@ Suze - topiary originated in Roman times .. and there are some amazing pictures in Wikipedia ..

The gardeners who can do these are very clever aren't they ..

Thanks everyone for visiting and leaving a comment - see you during the week .. cheers Hilary

Youmna09 said...

That place is very beautiful:)
and Great post !

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Youmna - many thanks - good to meet you .. cheers Hilary