Boughton House – an English expression of French style
Boughton House as it stands today is largely the work of Ralph Montagu, later 1st Duke of Montagu, who inherited what was then a simpler Tudor building, in 1683.
Montagu had been an English ambassador to France, and he was keen to bring French beauty and style to an English landscape. He expanded his home using contemporary French architectural influences and the resulting masterpiece is often referred to as ‘The English Versailles’.
His son, John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, was passionate about the landscape and made grand changes to the gardens. His new landscape covered 100 acres, with water features, splendid vistas and tree-lined avenues.
What was once a simple Tudor manor, with a Great Hall at its heart, was now a palatial residence on the scale of the most splendid in the country. After the death of the 2nd Duke, the House passed through the female line to noble families whose main residences were elsewhere. The Dukedom of Montagu became extinct and for two centuries, the House ‘slept’.
However in the 20th century it once again became a beloved family home, the residence of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, a descendant of the Montagus.
Today, the House continues to be a great favourite of visitors looking for peace, elegance and the expression of man’s pursuit of cultural excellence.
The House has featured in history and arts programmes, such as ‘Treasure Houses of Britain’, presented by Selina Scott, as well as appearing in the Oscar winning “Les Misérables”
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