Travel Tips

Historical Curiosities in Grantham

Stuck for something to do on holiday or just fancy a day trip out? You can find plenty of history based curiosities in Grantham and the surrounding area. Here are our top picks for history buffs.

Vist The Angel and Royal
Nestled in the High Street you will find what is reputed to be the oldest surviving English Inn. An Inn was first built here around 800 years ago, and the present facade is approximately 600 years old. King John was said to have visited the hostelry with his Royal Court in 1213. But it was a visit by Richard III that gives the Inn its golden angel holding the King’s crown signature.

It was here that Richard sent out word that his cousin, the Duke of Buckinghamshire, was plotting treachery – a letter which resulted in Buckinghamshire’s execution. You can see a copy of his letter in the Inn. King Charles stayed in the King’s Room in 1633, and Cromwell lodged there after a battle in 1643. The Angel became a coaching Inn, which accounts for its shape and the long courtyard where horses and coaches would stand waiting for travellers.

Sample Grantham Gingerbread
Grantham is known for its Gingerbread biscuits, which were created by accident in 1740, by a local baker called William Egglestone. William added an extra ingredient to his mixture, resulting in the distinctive domed gingerbread biscuit, with a honeycomb centre. The biscuits were a great success with customers and soon every bakery in Grantham was selling the gingerbread – each with their own secret recipe. Today you can still buy Grantham Gingerbread from the original shop on the High Street, which dates back to 1560.

Hunt for Bertie Brownlow at Belton House
Bertie Brownlow was the favourite greyhound of the Brownlow family, who lived at Belton Manor for most of its 300 years. The house itself is a treasure trove for the history fanatic, and you will find the second largest library in the National Trust’s care. Historically important silverware, plaster work, and carvings compete for your attention in this compact but richly decorated mansion.

The Brownlows loved Bertie so much that he is represented in and around the house and beautiful 36 acres of formal gardens. See how many Berties you can spot! Belton House is just three miles outside Grantham. Don’t forget to check out for savings on train travel.

Step Back In TIme at Belvoir Castle
The Manners family have lived at Belvoir Caster (pronounced Beaver Castle) for five hundred years. It is still occupied by the 11th Duke and Duchess and their five children. Having suffered several structural disasters over the centuries, the existing castle was completed in the early nineteenth century. Damage from the Wars of the Roses, the Civil War and a major fire in 1816 has not dimmed the vision of the Manners family, and the castle now thrives as a busy centre for shooting, weddings and charity events.

Visit the State Rooms, the Old Kitchen and Bakery, the School and Nursery for a real taste of times gone by. You can see artworks by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Holbein and Poussin. It houses outstanding collections of tapestries, furniture, silks, porcelain, Italian sculpture and French furniture. Check opening times at the castle website.


Image courtesy of: samurai