DiCamillo Companion

Burley-on-the-Hill (Burley House)

  • Earlier Houses: There was an earlier house on the site that was replaced by the current house in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. At this first house, John Harington, Lord Harington, produced a performance of Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” on New Year’s Day 1596. In the spring of 1603 Lord and Lady Harington hosted James I and Anne of Denmark at Burley when the royal couple stopped in Rutlandshire on their way to London for James’s coronation. In 1620 Lord Harington's daughter, Lucy Russell, Countess of Bedford, sold Burley to George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham. In 1621 Buckingham produced Ben Jonson's masque “The Gypsies Metamorphosed” at Burley to celebrate his marriage to Lady Katherine Manners, daughter of the 6th Earl of Rutland.

    Built / Designed For: Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham

    House & Family History: Before beginning his new house, the 2nd Earl of Nottingham consulted with Sir Christopher Wren and ordered that measurements be taken of Montagu House, London. The grand, Wren-style house that was built for Lord Nottingham incorporated the stableblock from the earlier house and features a pedimented central block with symmetrical wings that forms a cour d’honneur, a rare feature in an English house. Between 1993 and 1998 Kit Martin converted the house into six residences and created 22 homes on the estate.

    Collections: Some furniture from Burley was sold at Christie's on July 6, 1989. A famous 1603 painting by Robert Peake the Elder entitled "Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, with Sir John Harington in the Hunting Field" (see "Images" section) was probably commissioned by Lord and Lady Harington. It contains an image of their son John (who died just in 1614 at the age of 22) kneeling beside the prince in the painting. The canvas has been in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, since 1944.

  • Chapel & Church: The Church of the Holy Cross, next to the house, is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust.

  • Architect: Daniel Finch

    Date: 1694-1705
    Designed: Probably designed new House for himself and used executant architects for erection
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: John Lumley

    Date: 1697-1705
    Designed: Took over supervision of building new House from Henry Dormer for 2nd Earl of Nottingham

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    Architect: Henry Dormer

    Date: 1694-97
    Designed: Supervised building of new House for 2nd Earl of Nottingham. May have designed some elements himself.

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    Architect: Humphry Repton

    Designed: Terrace

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    Architect: John Johnson

    Date: 1780
    Designed: Dining Room

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  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pgs. 329, 664
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Belton House Guidebook - 1992
    Author: Tinniswood, Adrian
    Year Published: 1992
    Reference: pg. 6
    Publisher: London: The National Trust
    ISBN: 0707801133
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Vogue (American magazine)
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Aug 2003, pgs. 270, 274
    Publisher: New York: The Conde Nast Publications
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

    Title: Great British Paintings from American Collections: Holbein to Hockney
    Author: Warner, Malcolm; Asleson, Robyn
    Year Published: 2001
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale Center for British Art
    ISBN: 0300092229
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Georgian: The Magazine of the Georgian Group, The
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: January 1999, pg. 16
    Publisher: London: The Georgian Group
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: John Harington, 1st Baron Harington of Exton, until 1613. Lucy Russell, Countess of Bedford, 1620. George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, 1621-28. Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Nottingham and 4th Baron Howard of Effingham, 17th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham and 7th Earl of Winchilsea, 1695-1730; Daniel Finch, 8th Earl of Winchilsea and 3rd Earl of Nottingham, 1730-69. Hanbury family, until late 20th century. Asil Nadir, 1991-93.

    Current Ownership Type: Flat Owners Company / Condo Association

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Flats / Multi Family

    Ownership Details: The house was converted into six homes in the 1990s.

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No