Burghley House was built between 1565 and 1587 by William Cecil, Lord Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I. Cecil intended Burghley as his family seat; he also owned a London house and the remarkable palace for entertaining the Queen and Court that he built at Theobalds Park in Hertfordshire (sadly no longer standing.)
William Cecil was his own architect, basing the design for Burghley on elements of other great houses of the period together with European influences. It seems that Cecil himself spent little time at the house beyond visits to oversee elements of the building. The need to be in close attendance to the intrigues of the Elizabethan court prevented him from spending too much time at his
'country estate.' Externally, the appearance of Burghley House is largely as it was when completed by Cecil's masons in 1587.
However, the interior of Burghley is far from that of the Elizabethan house that might be expected. In 1678, John Cecil inherited the title and became the 5th Earl of Exeter. John was a modern thinking man with a passion for the arts. He travelled extensively in France and Italy, purchasing an immense collection of works of art for his great house at Burghley. In order to display these acquisitions he set about the modernisation of his home, employing many of the great craftsmen of the day to transform Burghley into his vision of a true 'Palace of the Arts.'
Paintings, furniture, ceramics and sculpture.
Architecture, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Personalities
Key artists and exhibits
- William Cecil, Lord Burghley
- Queen Elizabeth I
Battle Proms Concert
- 8 July 2017 4:30-10:30pm
Celebrate 20 years of Britain’s premier classical open-air concert series with music, Spitfire, cannons, cavalry & fireworks!
Pack up the hampers and champers and join the crowd at the annual Battle Proms Concert, returning to the stunning grounds overlooking Burghley House on Saturday 8 July in 2017.
Last year over 7,000 people attended this very special event, now a firmly established favourite in the local calendar. Approaching its 13th year at Burghley, the series itself is celebrating 20 years since the first Battle Proms was staged, and there’s a reason it continues to grow year on year.
Concert-goers will be treated to an extraordinary afternoon and evening of entertainment at this party in the park with a difference.
The full 2 hour orchestral concert from the 60 piece New English Concert Orchestra, led by Douglas Coombes MBE and compered by much-loved BBC presenter Pam Rhodes, will include a host of well-known classical pieces and conclude with a ‘last night of the proms’ sing-along with favourites such as Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and more.
The musical programme will be augmented by a toe-tapping warm-up act, thrilling Napoleonic cavalry displays, a meticulously choreographed aerial display from a WWII Spitfire, live firing cannons and, of course, spectacular fireworks. The Battle Proms is still believed to be the only opportunity in the world to see their signature piece – Beethoven’s Battle Symphony – performed as he composed it: with 193 live Napoleonic cannon providing a thunderous percussion!
Gates open 4.30pm, entertainments from approx. 6.15pm, finish approx. 10.30pm
- Family friendly