Burton Constable, built for the Constable family c 1600, is a large brick Tudor house with two battlemented towers. Added in the 18th century were a new top storey, two bay windows, and a new main door in the centre.
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Historic paintings, sculpture, and furniture are found in the mansion’s 30 rooms, shown by guided tour. Included are the great hall with ceiling designed by ‘Capability’ Brown, a blue drawing room, dining room, bedrooms, chapel, and long gallery. The interior was redone in both the 18th and 19th centuries. One change was to turn several bedrooms into the long gallery. Its plaster ceiling is a copy on the one in Oxford’s Bodleian library. James Wyatt designed the ballroom. The library holds 5000 books.
Above the fireplace in the great hall is a carving of oak boughs and garlands of laurel leaves around the armorial shield of the Constable family, done in scagliola by Domenico Bartoli. William Constable had the dining room redone in 1760 with a plasterwork ceiling. Gilding was added to the room in the 19th century.
The great drawing room originally incorporated 18th century French mirrors, a marble fireplace, and green wallpaper. The walls were redone in yellow silk in the mid 1800s. A blue drawing room on the ground floor once served as a breakfast room. The Chippendale room on the ground floor has had a number of uses and decorating schemes during its history. A Chinese room is named for its wallpaper and dragon chair
The bright yellow staircase hall with its cantilevered staircase was also designed in 1760. The long gallery underwent redesign in the 1740s and 1830s. The panelling and bookcases are 17th century while the neo-Jacobean ceiling plasterwork and frieze are from the 1830s. New curtains, carpet and gilded furniture were added.
Edwardian wallpaper, a Victorian marble fireplace, and a gilt tester bed. The state rooms were a series of apartments redecorated in the 19th century with yellow wallpaper. Two museum rooms show collections of natural history specimens and scientific instruments.
The 300 acre park and pleasure grounds with its two lakes was designed by Thomas White, a pupil of ‘Capability’ Brown. A ha-ha were part of the design. Changes have taken place in the parkland over the centuries including the planting of thousands of trees. There are walks through the parkland. There is an 18th century stable courtyard and a 1782 orangery.
Burton Constable Hall
Near Sproatley, Hull, Humberside, Yorkshire, off the B1238
Tel. 0 1964 562 400
Open: Easter Sat-end Oct; House, Sat-Thu, 1-5pm, during July, Aug and BH weekends, noon-5pm; grounds and tea-room, 11am-5pm, third week Nov-end first week Dec, noon-4pm
Historic Houses Association member; tea-room; shop; parking; special events and exhibitions
Web: Burton Constable Hall
Photos © by Barbara Ballard except lake and orangery by JThomas courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland