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Belton House

Grantham, Lincolnshire

Built from 1685, for Sir John Brownlow (1659-1697) 3rd Bt., M.P., Treasurer of Marshalsea and High Sheriff of Lincolnshire. Most likely designed by William Winde, Belton House is widely viewed as the "perfect" English country house and a rare example of Carolean architecture. It is particularly noted for its rich and opulent interiors that boast some of the finest Baroque decoration in the country, and its gardens contain a series of avenues leading to follies within a larger wooded park. It remained in the Brownlow family up until 1984, when they gifted it - with the vast majority of its contents - to the National Trust, and it is open to the public today. The American architect, Francis Hoppin, used Belton as direct inspiration for the garden facade of Edith Wharton's The Mount in Massachusetts; and, at Ashintully, also in the Berkshires.

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