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Heritage Tour - Stamford & Burghley House

21st July 2018

8.00am from Northwich Memorial Court - other pickups available.

Northwich Memorial Court


Proclaimed by Sir Walter Scott as “the finest stone town in England”, Stamford was declared a conservation area in 1967. It has over 600 listed buildings of mellow limestone in the town centre including five medieval churches, all real gems.

The Hospital of William Browne was founded by William Browne, a rich wool merchant of Stamford, and built in 1475 in the reign of Edward IV. These almeshouses now provide homes for 13 residents around a courtyard garden. Several rooms can be visited. In the Town Hall you can discover the story of Daniel Lambert, once Britain's fattest man, plus the history of the town and the Bull Run.

All Saint's Church dates back to the 13th Century and was rebuilt by the Brownes after suffering damage during the Wars of the Roses. This striking church in Red Lion Square has Browne family memorial brasses, a carved angel roof, stained glass windows and a reredos of the Last Supper. St. Leonard’s Priory was founded in the early 12th Century by the Benedictines of Durham Abbey. Its purpose was to manage the order’s southern estates and prepare students for entry into Oxford University. It fell into disrepair following its dissolution in 1536 and today all that remains is the nave and arcade of which the magnificent west front is a feature.

The George Hotel was an important coaching inn in the 17th and 18th centuries and possibly dating from the 10th century. It flourished until 1461 when Lancastrian forces destroyed much of the town, however the main block was rebuilt in 1597 by Lord Burghley, hence his coat of arms over the entrance. Famous guests include King Charles I, William III and Sir Walter Scott.

After lunch we visit nearby Burghley House, a Tudor mansion built by Queen Elizabeth’s Lord High Treasurer, Sir William Cecil. The building period of the house extended over a period of 32 years. We know from the State Papers that the east range was erected in 1555 and work continued on the east and south ranges until 1564. At Burghley in August 1564, Edmund Hall, the surveyor, promised that the south side should be finished by winter. Thereafter, little more work was done until 1575 when the team of masons was reassembled. The west front with its great gate-house (it was originally intended to be the main entrance) was finished in 1577. The north front was completed in 1587.

The collection of Fine Art held within Burghley House is extensive and varied, and includes many highly important objects. The collection of Italian Old Master paintings is one of the finest in private hands. The collections of both Oriental and European ceramics are world famous and of great interest to scholars. Fine English and Continental furniture, 17th century Objects of Vertu, English portrait miniatures and European Works of Art all feature strongly, whilst the collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles is thought to be one of the finest in the Western world.

The gardens and parkland that you see today at Burghley were largely designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the 18th century. The Garden of Surprises contains many interactive fountains, cascades and water features. On entering the sculpture garden visitors are welcomed by a mixed array of trees and shrubs for all seasons, many framed with an evergreen backdrop of common laurel. These shrubs form a major structural element within the gardens, forming archways and external rooms where discreetly hidden sculptures can be found. Viewed from the windows of the state rooms above, the South Gardens are dominated by the mature Oak and Lime trees, planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert respectively, in 1844. The yew hedges and topiary were added in the late 19th Century in a bid to reinstate some sense of a formal parterre or garden after so much was so boldly swept away in the 18th Century.


Coach leaves Winsford @ 7.30am through to Northwich Memorial Court @ 8.00am
Full list of pickup points and times here - schedule (a).
£24 (entry fees extra) - book online
or phone Carol on 07932927694 to reserve your ticket


Development of the Arts in Northwich | Contact Us

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