A guided walk through the grounds of Belton House

A guided walk around Belton House. Photo: David Feld

A guided walk around Belton House. Photo: David Feld

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Keen walker David Feld enjoyed a guided walk around Belton House so much that he decided to share his experience with Journal readers.

He wrote: “The rain had just stopped when a group of about 20 people gathered at Belton House on a Sunday afternoon for a guided walk of the house grounds.

“The group was met by Rachel Hall, an archaeologist with the National Trust (which acquired the house in 1984), and who is responsible for overseeing the archaeology for the whole region. She first gave an introduction to the Belton area as a whole, including its ancient and medieval history; its boundaries and the acquisition of the land and building of the house by the Brownlow family in the late 17th century.

“Rachel then led the group on a circular tour of the grounds, explaining the layout of the park, its various avenues and the planting of the trees. She mentioned that the finding of prehistoric worked flints show that the area has been inhabited for thousands of years. Such artefacts turn up occasionally in molehills! However, Roman substantial remains have not been found – except, perhaps for a few mosaic tiles.

“Towards the southwest of the grounds, Rachel pointed out the remains of the medieval ridge-and-furrow system, at a place where it is thought that the deserted medieval village of Towthorpe is thought to have stood – on the banks of River Witham. It was probably not a plague village, so no-one is sure why it became deserted – except that it may have been at a time when the economy changed from arable to mixed farming. There is certainly very little sign of it now; however, its name is preserved in that of the nearby ponds.

“A gentle stroll back towards the house completed the guided tour. All in all, it was an hour-and-a-half well spent.”