Belton House with the west courtyard visible on the left.
White's Directory of Lincolnshire 1856 states :-
"BELTON, one of the handsomest villages in the county, 3 miles N.N.E. of Grantham, in the picturesque vale of the Witham, has in its parish 182 souls, and about 1700 acres of land, all, except 30 acres of glebe, belonging to Earl Brownlow, the lord of the manor, whose seat is BELTON HOUSE, a large mansion, in an extensive and well-wooded deer park, with beautiful gardens and pleasure grounds.
This and other estates were purchased by Richard Brownlow, Esq., who was Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas, in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. In 1661, his two sons were created baronets.
His great-grandson, Sir John Brownlow, the third baronet, rebuilt the mansion, from a design by Sir Christopher Wren, who commenced the erection in 1685, and completed it in 1689.
It is built of stone, in the form of the letter H, presenting four uniform fronts.
In 1775, it was improved under the direction of James Wyatt, Esq.
The apartments are numerous, lofty, and well-proportioned, and contain many good pictures, by eminent masters of the Flemish and Italian schools, with numerous portraits by Lely, Kneller, Reynolds, Romney, and others.
They also contain some of the finest carvings of Grinling Gibbons, which were restored in 1856.
The founder of this mansion had the honour of a visit from William III., who, on his progress through the northern counties, was entertained at Belton House, October 29th, 1695.
In 1690, he obtained a royal license to form a park of his lands in Belton, Londonthorpe, and Manthorpe, which he enclosed with a wall five miles in circumference, and at the same time made numerous plantations.
His nephew, Sir John Brownlow, K.B., was created Viscount Tyrconnel, in 1718; but dying without issue, in 1754, his estates passed to his nephew, Sir John Cust, Bart., son of his sister, Lady Cust.
Sir Brownlow Cust, Bart., son of the latter, was created Baron Brownlow, of Belton, in 1776.
He died in 1807, and was succeeded by his son, the late Rt Hon John Cust, F.R.S., who, in 1815, was created Viscount Alford and Earl Brownlow.
At his death, in 1853, he was succeeded by his grandson, the Rt. Hon. John Wm. Spencer Brownlow Egerton, the present EARL BROWNLOW and Viscount Alford"
DB 14 April 2018
Belton House, William Winde, William Stanton, John Brownlow, Cust, National Trust