The State Rooms
The State Rooms at Boughton House were originally built to impress the King and Queen, William and Mary, by showing them the contemporary style and tastes of the French Court.
Visitors to Boughton House can enjoy the processional tour of the State Rooms or ‘Great Apartment’ that had such an impression on King William III that he commissioned the building of State Rooms in his Hampton Court Palace.
The Armoury contains an outstanding collection of swords, pistols and armour, some of which are over 500 years old.
There are weapons from many parts of the world – pistols from France and Germany, Farrara sword blades from Italy, fine ivory daggers from India and lethal-looking Ottoman daggers.
Of particular historic interest is the famous Sword of Ramillies which was worn to battle by the great Duke of Marlborough. Some of the pistols can be seen to bear the mark of the Tower of London – a reminder of the fact that John, 2nd Duke of Montagu (Marlborough’s son-in-law) was Master of the Ordnance there during the mid 18th Century.
The Great Hall
The Great Hall at Boughton is the largest and most imposing room of the House. Some of the works of art in this room include:
- A rare portrait of Queen Elizabeth I as a young princess (far right). The importance of this portrait was highlighted on a visit by historians Alison Weir and Tracy Borman.
- The two oval portraits on the East Wall are of Ralph, 1st Duke of Montagu, and his first wife Elizabeth Wriothsley, by Pierre Mignard (1612-95).
- The portrait of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton (1573-1624), hangs alongside that of his wife, Elizabeth Vernon. Southampton was a supporter and patron of Shakespeare and is shown here with the Tower of London in the upper right, where he was imprisoned by Elizabeth for plotting against her.
- Watercolour of reconstruction of Great Hall with accurate depiction of existing roof structures by A.W. Blomfield c. 1890.