A friend of mine offered to give me a tour of Stamford and the surrounding area so I took her up on it. The area is beautiful with green, rolling terrain and literally filled with history as it seems is the entire country. I started out at Burghley Castle and the place was crawling with tourists when we arrived. The castle, surrounding grounds and various buildings are absolutely huge.
To provide some scale the main part of the House has 35 major rooms on the ground and first floors. 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. As you can appreciate it’s constantly in need of cash to maintain and the trust that runs the castle hosts events of all types during the year. I grabbed a schedule while I was there to get a feel for what was taking place throughout the year. In addition to historical tours, art collections and exhibits there are craft workshops, car rallies and film festivals basically something for everyone. One thing I noticed about the castle as we approached is the number stovepipes extending up on the roof.
Of course I didn’t count them all or have a look but it seems as if every room has or had a stove that burns wood, coal or something as it’s probably quite a labor to keep the place heated. I imagine due to the number of paintings, sculptures and items of historical importance, environment is critical and they have at this point upgraded the heating system. As I indicate earlier the trust has really gone the extra mile to offer every kind of service and event imaginable for tourists.
You can eat at a restaurant, shop, visit the castle, walk the gardens which are magnificently maintained I should add. You can even rent part or perhaps all of the place depending on your budget as I see weddings can be held on the grounds. Oh, in case I didn’t mention it, Burghley was built and mostly designed by William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I, between 1555 and 1587 so the place has some major history behind it.