LYDDINGTON BEDE HOUSE (English Heritage): This is, in my opinion, Rutland’s greatest building and deserves to be better known, though the villagers of Lyddington might not welcome tourists by the coachload. I will review it in detail elsewhere but briefly: one part of a (mostly lost) medieval Bishop’s palace, the amazing upper rooms showcase ancient oak beams and intricate carving.

Lyddington Bede House

Lyddington Bede House

Lyddington Bede House

Lyddington Bede House

Taken from the Church by Henry VIII and given to Lord Burghley, who turned it into alms houses for the poor (bedesmen) who lived in its ground-floor cell-like rooms until the 1930s. Almost the only architectural ‘improvements’ in all this time were the fireplaces and windows in the little rooms. Upstairs, the glory remained untouched. Do not expect to see paintings, furniture, antiques or slick reconstructions. This is about the pure bones of a beautiful building.

BURLEY ON THE HILL: Many first-time visitors get confused between Burghley, the stately home at Stamford and Burley with its imposing mansion which overlooks Rutland Water and dominates the view as you approach Oakham from the south on the A6003. Burley on the Hill was built by Lord Nottingham in the 1690s.  By the end of the 20th century the estate passed into the hands of Asil Nadir, then in the late 1990s the main ‘stately home’ and its elegant outlying buildings were all sold to private individuals. Consequently no part of Burley on the Hill is open to the public and we must admire it from afar.

 
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