Essential Architecture-  Architecture in the Da Vinci Code

Belvoir Castle


James Wyatt










Used as one of the Popes residences in the Da Vinci Code.
The south west range and round tower of Belvoir Castle from Jones' Views of the seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen, published in 1829. The castle had been rebuilt in the romantic style illustrated between 1799 and 1816, but in the latter year it had been almost destroyed by a fire. It was rebuilt again to largely the same designs, and barring minor details this image shows the castle as it remains today.
Belvoir Castle (pronounced Beaver) is a stately home in Leicestershire, overlooking the Vale of Belvoir. A Norman castle originally stood on the high ground in this spot. During the English Civil War, it was one of the more notable strongholds of the king's supporters. It eventually passed into the hands of the Dukes of Rutland and following a fire, was rebuilt, its present façade dating from the 19th century. The architect James Wyatt was chiefly responsible for this restructuring, and the result is a building which bears a superficial resemblance to a medieval castle, its central tower reminiscent of Windsor Castle.

The castle is open to the public and contains the Regimental Museum of the 17th and 21st Lancers, as well as many works of art. The landscaped grounds are also popular with visitors. Several films and television programmes have used it as a location, notably the film Little Lord Fauntleroy starring Sir Alec Guinness.

The castle is near several villages, including Redmile, Woolsthorpe, Harlaxton, Croxton Kerrial and Bottesford, and the town of Grantham.

The Duke of Rutland also owns a hotel/restaurant named the 'Manners Arms' which is located in nearby Knipton.

The present Castle is the fourth to have stood on the site since Norman times, the existing Castle was completed in the early 19th century after previous buildings suffered complete or partial destruction during the Wars of the Roses, the Civil War and a major fire in 1816.

From the elegance of the Elizabeth Saloon and the majesty of the State Dining Room to the delights of the Regents Gallery and the military splendour of the Guard Room, Belvoir possesses one of the most stunning interiors of the period.

Below the terrace of the Castle sloping lawns lead down to the Rose and Statue Gardens which are elegantly laid out round a central fountain. The Statue Collection terraced into the hillside includes work by Caius, Cibber - Sculptor to Charles II.

The Castle also contains a notable collection of furniture, porcelain, silks and tapestries, sculptures and paintings. There are examples of fine French furniture, Italian sculpture alongside paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Holbein and Poussin.

THE DUCHESS' SPRING GARDENS Secluded in woodland half a mile from the Castle, a haven of tranquillity has been created. The term 'Spring' refers to a water spring rather than the season. Surrounding the rustic summer house, dating from 1800, the gardens have been lovingly restored to their original beauty. These magical woodland gardens, set in a natural amphitheatre with fresh water springs, are carefully planned to ensure plants bloom all year round. The Spring Gardens are open to groups throughout the year by arrangement with the Belvoir Castle Opening Office

Belvoir Castle SpringPicture GallerySpring Garden