Burghley House

Burghley, one of the largest and grandest houses of the first Elizabethan Age.

Built and mostly designed by William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I, between 1555 and 1587, the main part of the House has 35 major rooms on the ground and first floors. We know from the State Papers that the east range was erected in 1555 and work continued on the east and south ranges until 1564. Sir William Cecil had purchased Theobalds Manor, Hertfordshire in 1563 and for a whole decade was fully engaged there in the building of his great ‘prodigy’ house.

At Burghley in August 1564, Edmund Hall, the surveyor, promised that the south side should be finished by winter. Thereafter, little more work was done until 1575 when the team of masons was reassembled. The west front with its great gate-house (it was originally intended to be the main entrance) was finished in 1577. The north front was completed in 1587.

There are more than 80 lesser rooms and numerous halls, corridors, bathrooms and service areas. The lead roof extends to three quarters of an acre, restoration and rebuilding of which began in 1983 and took nearly ten years to complete. Visitor facilities include the Orangery restaurant, gift shop, gardens and beautiful walks around the historic parkland laid out by Capability Brown and still occupied by a herd of fallow deer.

William Cecil, the first Lord Burghley, had a strong sense of family and Burghley House, has been the Cecil family’s home for over sixteen generations. To navigate changing needs in the present era, the Burghley House Preservation Trust now cares for the well-being of the House, gardens, park and estate. The board of Governors has my admiration for its wise handling of this substantial Charity.

Miranda Rock, House Director for Burghley House Preservation Trust and a direct descendent of William Cecil, lives in Burghley House with her husband, Orlando and their four children.

History can come alive in a single trip whether it is to enjoy a guided tour, take a dog for a walk in the park, take the children to paddle, see the teddy bear’s picnic in the gardens of surprise or take time over lunch in the Orangery.

The House and Gardens are open daily (House closed on Fridays, but open on Good Friday) from 11am to 5pm, last admission 4.30pm.

Account enquiries

select-one@takeonemedia.co.uk0114 256 4323

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