Monday, 1 August 2011

Belton House re-visited & Date night at OK Diner

My MIL has never been here before so I thought it would be great to take her for a look around. The house was closed which was a real shame but we got to look around some of the gardens, the playground and had an understairs tour too! As we walked out of the car park we were met by this lovely fawn. It looked at us rather amusingly!

 And then carried on with what it was doing!
 We had a walk around the gardens at the back of the house, it always quieter here when the house is shut. The playground was super busy though because of the holidays.
Some interesting hedge shapes
In the Orangery looking at the fish
Finding some HUGE flowers, which would make perfect hats!
Feeding the ducks in the palyground
Waiting in the courtyard for the understairs tour.
There was only the 6 of us for the visit, which was great as the children got lots of attention and could ask as many questions as they liked. First we had to sort out all the items that were used by different members of staff. This took the children no time at all, obviously all the stately homes we have walked around and looked out as paid off!
A quick board game before we were shown around the staff's quarters
These run all the way under the bottom of the house and the left side of the corridor was the girls side.
An AGA in the kitchen!
Butter was made in this and the stamp to the left of the photo was used to put the family's crest on it!
The servants and staff visited the chapel everyday, and were happy to go as it meant they could sit down for a short time and it was warm in here too. The font at the front was used in a baptism sometime in the 20th century and Piper correctly guessed that its main use was actually a wine cooler!

This was the room of the head groundsmen and whilst we were in here the lady gave us all a role and we had to stand in our own places. Visiting staff from other properties (like Kedleston) would have superiority over the staff at Belton.
Ringing the bell for supper, which we could hear ringing in the kitchen down the hall.
On the boys side of the corridor we found the wine cellar, nannan's favourite room!
This is where the beer was kept and if you were a male member of staff you were allowed 3 pints (watered down) a day, women 2 pints a day and children 1 and 1/2 pints a day. This was taken out of your wages.
A knife cleaner
The bells in the hall that showed which room the servants were required to be in. After the noise stopped the pendulum continued swingning so you knew which room to attend.
In the secret tunnel across to the kitchen. It was moved several times apparantly and was extremely cold in this tunnel, would have been freezing during winter months too. The food travelled on a tray on the tracks and you had to whistle apparantly to stop yourself eating the food you were taking across to the other side of the house!

This was the kitchen. Which actually turned out to be a film set for a BBC programme from the 80's called "Moon Dial", its based on the book . Tried to find it in the gift shop but it was out of stock. Think it would make very interesting reading though. So the writing on the wall is NOT original, which I thought was a shame!
And this is not a real range either!
The guide said the children asked some fantastic questions and had lots of knowledge about things too, she was very impressed with them. After the tour we went to the second hand bookshop in the grounds which is actually in the old horse stables.
The old carriages which stand outside the gift shop, which was where they used to brew the beer.

Another ice cream and coffee here too!


  1. Going to look this up and add it to the places to visit while we are here in England looks fantastic. How fun that the tour guides gave the children some extra attention:) Please consider linking this post up to the The Field trip hop and let other home schoolers share in your adventures

  2. This is a lovely post! I really enjoyed seeing all the little details of this place. Love the little butter stamp! So unique. I am glad your children enjoyed the day!

    Came through from the FTrip blog link! Thanks for letting me peak in.