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08 November 2019

ACE Tour Director Oliver Gerrish explores the architectural space, history and heritage of Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire.


Grimsthorpe Castle

By Oliver Gerrish


Grimsthorpe Castle is a tantalising house – part medieval, Elizabethan and baroque – a country house, Palladian palace and a castle.

The old quadrangular house of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, forms the bones of the house we see today, but in place of a medieval great hall we find a classical space of colossal proportions and unrivalled theatre, which was created by Sir John Vanbrugh for the 15th Baron Willoughby de Eresby. This leads, westerly, to a purely Palladian chapel of the most elegant sobriety, next to which is a room as exuberant as its neighbour is calm – the Chinese drawing room. To the east of the hall is a range of state rooms, each more exquisite than the next; then, without warning, you are back in the rambling domestic spaces of the ancient house.

Grimsthorpe Castle (c) Oliver Gerrish

Grimsthorpe, still the home of the Willoughbys, is a spatial journey through first-rate English domestic architecture and interior design that no one can forget.

Oliver Gerrish will lead our Lincolnshire Halls & Houses tour in June 2020, which will include a visit to Grimsthorpe Castle.

Lincolnshire Halls & Houses - More Information

Header Image: Grimsthorpe Castle & Gardens (c) Michael Garlick (CC BY-SA 4.0)