Monday, 25 April 2011

Stamford, England

When Mymom and Grampy were in December, we came across a little town called Stamford. Though it was relatively quiet and a lot of things were closed, Stamford was a really neat little town. The big attraction in the town is the Burghley House. In December, the house was closed for the winter, so we knew we wanted to go back in the Spring and have a look.

One day a couple of weeks ago, we were trying to figure out something to do and we remembered about the Burghley House so we decided to make the trip up there for the afternoon.

We drove through the town again, but ended up just stopping by an antique store before heading on to the Burghley House.

Part of downtown Stamford
Burghley House is a country house built in the 16th Century. It was built for Sir William Cecil, the High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth 1. It is a huge and gorgeous home where descendants of Cecil still live in today. For that reason, you cant see the entire house, but quite a few rooms were open. Sadly, you cant take pictures inside the house, which is a real shame, because it is GORGEOUS! Each room is different and the fabrics they used were just amazing.

Closer picture of the house

One of the most famous things in the house is the Heaven Room and the Hell Staircase. You walk through the Heaven Room and are immediately taken aback by its beauty. The entire room is painted by Antonio Verrio and it is a gorgeous depiction of classic mythology. The painting looks completely 3 dimensional even though its not... it really was amazing.

Heaven Room (photo by Google Images)

The Hell staircase is directly after the Heaven Room. It is a massive staircase that has a huge fresco on the ceiling and walls depicting hell. It was the last work commissioned by Antonio Verrio and it took him 11 months to finish the ceiling in 1697. The walls were painted a century later by a man named Thomas Stothford who was actually a children's book illustrator.

Hell Staircase (Photo by Google Images)

After walking through the house, we headed outside to "The Garden's of Surprise". The entire garden is sort of walled in and hidden from the outside. There are different parts of the garden including a sculpture garden and then the main part of the garden that is filled with all sorts of things like sun dials, obelisk's, water features, a mirrored maze and so much more. I think it took us longer to go through the garden than the house.

One of the many sculptures...
Inside the sculpture Garden

Christopher and his favorite sculpture

Sculptures on the Water

Neptune's Grotto

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