DiCamillo Companion

Grimsthorpe Castle

  • House & Family History: In 1944 Grimsthorpe Castle housed a company of the RAF Parachute Regiment while it was training for what became Operation Market Garden.

    Collections: The collection includes paintings by van Dyck and Reynolds, a life-size portrait of James I after Van Somer, and circa 1730 yellow Soho tapestries woven by Joshua Morris for Sir Gilbert Heathcote, lord mayor of London. The tapestries were made for the state bedroom of Sir Gilbert's country house, Normanton Park, Rutland, and came to Grimsthorpe in 1924, with much furniture and pictures, after the demolition of Normanton, another of the family's seats. A set of four 18th century French armchairs (see "Images" section) purchased by the 3rd Duke of Ancaster for Grimsthorpe, are today in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The set (originally one of six chairs and two settees) was originally covered in Gobelins tapestries after designs by Francois Boucher. The 3rd Duke also purchased a 1640 portrait of Herman Doomer by Rembrandt that is today also in the collection of the Met (see "Images").

    Comments: Grimsthorpe is considered one of Vanbrugh's most important last works.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The grounds contain 3,000 acres of landscaped park within an estate of 13,000 acres, encompassing 200 houses and 20 farms. During World War I the park at Grimsthorpe was used by the Royal Flying Corps as an emergency landing field. During World War II part of the park was used as a bombing range by the Royal Air Force.

  • Architect: Lancelot Brown

    Date: 1771
    Designed: Park for 3rd Duke of Ancaster

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    Architect: Henry Garling

    Date: 1811
    Designed: Assisted Samuel Page on alterations for 2nd Baron Gwydyr

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    Architect: Samuel Page

    Date: 1811
    Designed: Alterations for 2nd Baron Gwydyr

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    Architect: Frederick Catherwood

    Date: 1831
    Designed: Alterations

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    Architect: Detmar Jellings Blow

    Date: Circa 1900
    Designed: Alterations

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    Architect: John Vanbrugh

    Date: 1722-26 & 1729-30
    Designed: Work for 1st Duke of Ancaster, including rebuilding of north façade (1722-26); forecourt (1729-30), and chapel (1720s).

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  • Vitruvius Britannicus: C. III, pls. 11-14, 1725.

    John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. II, p. 57, 1853.

    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. II, 1819.

    Country Life: CIV, 272, corr. 351. LV, 572, 614, 650. LIX, 429.

  • Title: Grimsthorpe Castle Guidebook
    Author: Knox, Tim
    Year Published: 1996
    Publisher: Lincolnshire: The Grimsthorpe and Drummond Castle Trust
    ISBN: 0952794500
    Book Type: Light Softback

    Title: Country Life Cumulative Index: Volumes I to CXCIII to December 1999
    Author: NA
    Year Published: 2000
    Publisher: London: IPC Magazines Limited
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Light Softback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pgs. 410, 765, 1073, 1139
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade I

  • "Middlemarch" (1994 - BBC TV mini series). "The Buccaneers" (1995 - TV mini series, as the interiors of Allfriars). "The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders" (1996 - TV mini series). "Bargain Hunt" (2007 - BBC TV game show series, episode 17.22). "Mary & George" (2024 - TV mini series). "Bridgerton" (2024 - TV series, as Lord Hawkins's home).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Nancy Jane Marie Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 28th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby

    Past Seat / Home of: Francis Lovell, 9th Baron Lovell, 6th Baron Holand, and 1st Viscount Lovell, until 1487. William Willoughby, 11th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, 1516-26. Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk and 1st Viscount Lisle, until 1545. Richard Bertie, until 1582; Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, 1582-1601; Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey, 1601-42; Montagu Bertie, 2nd Earl of Lindsey, 1642-66; Robert Bertie, 3rd Earl of Lindsey, 1666-1701; Robert Bertie, 4th Earl of Lindsey, 17th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, and 1st Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, 1701-23; Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, 1723-42; General Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, 1742-78; Robert Bertie, 4th Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, 1778-79. Peter Burrell, 1st Baron Gwydyr, until 1820; Peter Robert Drummond-Burrell, 2nd Baron Gwydyr, 22nd Baron Willoughby de Eresby, 1820-65; Albyric Drummond-Willoughby, 3rd Baron Gwydyr, 23rd Baron Willoughby de Eresby, 1865-70; Clementina Elizabeth Drummond-Willoughby, 24th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, 1870-88; Gilbert Henry Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 25th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, 2nd Baron Aveland, and 1st Earl of Ancaster, 1888-1910; Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 2nd Earl of Ancaster, 1910-51; Gilbert James Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 3rd Earl of Ancaster, 1951-83.

    Current Ownership Type: Charity / Nonprofit

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

    Ownership Details: Owned by Grimsthorpe and Drummond Castle Trust Limited

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01778-591-205

    Fax: 01778-591-259

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.grimsthorpe.co.uk/

    Historic Houses Member: Yes