Boughton House, known as 'The English Versailles', is the Northamptonshire home of the Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry. Its transformation from a 15th century monastic building into one of the great houses of Europe 250 years later is a colourful story, best illustrated by the rich variety of the architecture and the superb quality of the contents.
Sir Edward Montagu bought the building from St Edmunsbury's Abbey in 1528. He added a manor house with courtyards to the Great Hall of the Monks, while later generations built further wings and courts. The culmination of this expansion came in the 1690's, with the creation of the North front, incorporating entrance halls, state rooms and stables, by Ralph, 1st Duke of Montagu, a former Ambassador to Paris and a devotee of French architecture. From then on Boughton was lucky to escape further structural alteration, so that it remains almost as it was before 1700.
Views of the House reveal its extraordinary complexity, with 7 courtyards, 12 entrances, 52 chimney stacks and 365 windows. The 1.25 acres of Collyweston tile roofing blend with the great spread of lawns, lakes, woods and avenues stretching for many miles.
The special attraction of Boughton lies in the harmonious blending of its superb collections of paintings, furniture, tapestries, needlework, carpets, porcelain, arms and silver. All these in a setting of extreme beauty with a magical atmosphere to match, just as the generations of artists, craftsmen and discriminating collectors had intended.
Historic house or home, Heritage site
HOUSE: August 1st to September 1st,
Daily, 2.00pm - 4.30pm
The State Rooms are presently open as part of the general self guided tour in August due to the return of the State Bed.
GROUNDS AND PARK: May 1st to September 1st, Daily, except Fridays (daily in August),
1.00pm - 5.00pm
PLAY AREA & TEAROOM: Weekends and Bank Holidays only (daily throughout August)
PARK AND PLANT CENTRE: May 1st to September 1st,
Daily, 1.00pm - 5.00pm (EXCEPT FRIDAYS)
EDUCATIONAL GROUP VISITS: Throughout the year by prior appointment.
House and Gardens: Adults £10.00, Children £7.00, Family (2+2) £25.00
Gardens only: Adults £5.00, Children £2.00, Family (2+2) £12.00
Entry to Events is variable - please check the related website for details: Events
ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND -Exciting high level walkways and giant slides providing entertainment for children under 16 (parents should supervise children at all times).
Superb art treasures - paintings, furniture, tapestries, needlework, carpets, porcelain, arms and silver- and an incomparable armoury.
Architecture, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Weapons and War
Key artists and exhibits
- Van Dyck sketches
- Louis Chéron
- 17th century State Bed