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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. Belton directly inspired the garden facade of Edith Wharton's The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts.