BELVOIR CASTLE (PRONOUNCED BEAVER)
Belvoir, meaning beautiful view in French, dates back to Norman times. The English pronounciation ‘Beaver’ was built up over many centuries throught the inability of Anglo-Saxons to master the French tongue.
Belvoir has been the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland for one thousand years and is currently the family home of 11th Duke and Duchess and their five children.
The present Castle is the fourth to have stood on the site since Norman times. The existing Castle was completed in the early 19th century after previous buildings suffered complete or partial destruction during the Wars of the Roses, the Civil War and a major fire in 1816.
The Castle contains many notable pieces of art and includes paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Holbein and Poussin. It houses outstanding collections of furniture, porcelain, silks, tapestries, French furniture and Italian sculpture. Sculpture exends outside into the Rose and Statue Gardens which are elegantly laid out round a central fountain. The Statue Collection terraced into the hillside includes work by Caius, Cibber - Sculptor to Charles II.
Belvoir Castle is situated between the villages of Knipton, Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir and Redmile, Easily found off the a1 from Grantham
Well worth a visit , we went last summer 2006 , and were pleased to find they were filming there a medieval renactment , and the present Duke of Rutland was out amongst the actors joining in with the event , plenty of history to be leared in the castle itself and the gardens which are being restored slowly as they have only 3 gardeners at the moment instead of 40 in Edwardian times are also beautiful theres a lovely walk to a very old rustic summer house .