DiCamillo Companion

Belhus House (Belhus Mansion) (Bellhouse) (Belhouse)

  • Earlier Houses: There was at least one earlier house on, or near, the site of the 16th century house.

    House & Family History: Belhus was visited by Elizabeth I in 1578; the queen may also have stayed at the house in 1588 on her way to Tilbury to visit her troops before they went off to fight the Spanish Armada. During World War II Belhus suffered bomb damage when it was occupied by the military, who left the house in such bad shape that it was ultimately demolished in the 1950s. Elements of the house's interiors are today in the collection of the Thurrock Museum; 17th century paneling from Belhus has been reinstalled in Valence House, London.

    Collections: The contents of the house were auctioned in 1923 at the order of Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard, 3rd Bt. A 17th century curtain that once hung in Belhus is today in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: In the 1950s the park was purchased by Essex County Council, who developed it as a public recreation center.

  • Architect: Richard Woods

    Date: 1770
    Designed: Additional designs to park

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    Architect: Lancelot Brown

    Date: 1753-63
    Designed: Grounds

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    Architect: Sanderson Miller

    Date: 1745-47 & 1752-57
    Designed: Tudor-Gothic rebuilding of exterior (1745-47) and interior alterations (1752-57), all for 17th Lord Dacre.

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  • John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. I, 1818.

    Country Life: XLVII, 656, 690, 1921. LIII, 600 [Heraldic Glass], 1923.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pg. 694
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Burke's & Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume III: East Anglia
    Author: Kenworthy-Browne, John; Reid, Peter; Sayer, Michael; Watkin, David
    Year Published: 1981
    Reference: pg. 39
    Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
    ISBN: 0850110351
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Demolished

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSES: Nicholas de Belhus, 14th century. SEATED AT 16TH CENTURY HOUSE: John Barrett, until 1526. Thomas Fiennes, 9th Baron Dacre, until 1541; Mary Fiennes, Baroness Dacre, 1541-78; Gregory Fiennes, 10th Baron Dacre, 1578-94; Margaret Fiennes, 11th Baroness Dacre, until 1612; Henry Lennard, 12th Baron Dacre, 1612-16; Richard Lennard, 13th Baron Dacre, 1616-30; Francis Lennard, 14th Baron Dacre, 1630-62; Thomas Lennard, 15th Baron Dacre and 1st Earl of Sussex, 1662-1715; Anne Barrett-Lennard, 16th Baroness Dacre, 1715-55; Thomas Barrett-Lennard, 17th Baron Dacre, 1755-86; Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard, 1st Bt., until 1857; Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard, 2nd Bt., 1857-1919; Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard, 3rd Bt., 1919-23.

    Current Ownership Type: Demolished

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Demolished

    Ownership Details: The former park is today a public recreation center owned by the local authority.

  • House Open to Public: Grounds Only

    Historic Houses Member: No


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