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East Midlands

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ALL SAINTS’, Brixworth

All Saints', Brixworth, is the largest surviving Anglo-Saxon church in Britain. The Saxon builders re-used Roman bricks when constructing their arches. It is also known that a monastery was founded on the site toward the end of the 7th century, sacked by the Danes. The church includes Norman features, an 11th century round tower and a 15th century spire. It is also famous for the Brixworth Relic - a human throat bone that allegedly once belonged to St Boniface.

Church Street
Brixworth
Northamptonshire
NN6 9DF
Saxon
Brixworth - All Saints' church
6 or 7 miles north of Northampton on the A508
Church authorities
ALL SAINTS’, Earls Barton

A very special church dating from 10th century. The tower is the main survivor from this period and contains some unique Anglo-Saxon architectural decoration. The rest of the church was built between the 12th and 15th centuries. One of several Saxon churches in the area.

High Street
Earls Barton
Northamptonshire
NN6 0JG
Saxon
Earls Barton - our finest Saxon church tower
All Saints' website
Brixworth church
Church authorities
ALTHORP

Sitting in acres of Northamptonshire countryside, Althorp has been the residence of the Spencer family for 500 years and is one of England's grand stately homes. It is packed full of treasures, including some fascinating portraits. The original Tudor house is still there, beneath the later restorations and refurbishments, but the overall feel of the place is distinctly 18th century. The gardens are lovely and regular events are held, including an annual literary festival. Althorp is, sadly, best known for the association with possibly the most famous Spencer, Lady Diana, whose last resting place is on an island in the Round Oval lake.

Althorp has limited opening - it is essential to check their website before making a special trip.

Northampton
Northamptonshire
NN7 4HQ
Georgian
Althorp
Althorp's website
Althorp is about 8 miles north west of Northampton.
Private - open to the public
ASHBY ST LEDGERS

Very small, attractive, village between Daventry and Rugby. The Jacobean manor was owned by the Catesby family and the gatehouse is famous for being the place where the Gunpowder Plot was planned (neither the gatehouse nor the manor is open to the public). There is a wonderful medieval church, dedicated to St Leodegarius, a pub (the Olde Coach House) and a series of estate workers' cottages designed by Lutyens.

NB Warning notice that village website may be hacked, hence the link has not been included here.

Northamptonshire
CV23 8UN
All
Terror plot planned in peaceful village
Off the A361 between Kilsby and Daventry
Local Authority
BATTLE OF BRITAIN MEMORIAL FLIGHT

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) is an aerial display team flying historic aircraft. They appear at shows throughout the country, state occasions and at events commemorating the Second World War.  The aircraft normally flown are an Avro Lancaster, a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane. The flight is administratively part of No. 1 Group RAF, flying out of RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. It is possible to see the aircraft at a visitor centre at Coningsby, though it is recommended you check which ones can be seen before making a special trip.

RAF BBMF Visitors Centre
Dogdyke Road
Coningsby
Lincolnshire
LN4 4SY
Modern
Website of the BBMF
Tattershall Castle, Lincoln
Military
BOLSOVER CASTLE

Astonishing Stuart mansion, mid-way between a castle and a country house, built to entertain and impress by the staunchly Royalist Charles Cavendish. The place is full of surprises, including some intriguing and lavish decoration, a beautiful garden, wall walk and an unusual riding house. There is an informative exhibition which puts things in perspective before you tour - and a great childrens' playground!

Castle Street
Bolsover
Derbyshire
S44 6PR
Stuart
Hardwick Hall, Chatsworth
English Heritage
BOSWORTH BATTLEFIELD

Site of the decisive battle on 22nd August 1485 where King Richard III was killed and the victor, Henry Tudor, started a new dynasty as Henry VII. There is a heritage centre with an exhibition/museum, shop and café. It is possible to walk round the battlefield on a well-signposted trail. Events are held including an annual re-enactment of the battle.

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre
Sutton Cheney
Leicestershire
CV13 0AD
Medieval
The Battle of Bosworth
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre
Local Authority
BURGHLEY HOUSE

Burghley is a grand 16th century house and estate on the edge of the charming East Midlands town of Stamford. The house was built by Elizabeth I's chief advisor and Lord High Treasurer Sir William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, and is still lived in by his descendents. The house contains an extensive collection of artwork and painted murals, including Verrio's 'Hell Staircase' (seen in 'The Da Vinci Code') and the hall has a magnificent hammerbeam roof. There are extensive gardens, statues and a fine park. Burghley is also famous for its annual Burghley Horse Trials, held in the autumn (best avoid visiting then!).

Stamford
Lincolnshire
PE9 3JY
Tudor
Burghley's website
Stamford is a peach
Private - open to the public
CALKE ABBEY

Calke is a mansion and estate on the site of a 12th century Augustinian abbey. The present Palladian style mansion is a consequence of reconstruction work dating from 1701, built around an Elizabethan house. The estate ultimately came into the hands of the Harpur-Crewe family and was acquired by the National Trust in a state of decay. The Trust has preserved the house pretty much in the condition it was found, packed full of artwork and stuffed animals, with an appearance largely unchanged since the late Victorian period - including the children's' nursery. It is a curious and fascinating time capsule. Outside are gardens, outhouses and extensive grounds, including a nature reserve.

Note: Entry to the house is by timed ticket.

Ticknall
Derbyshire
DE73 7LE
Victorian
Sudbury Hall. Handy for Nottingham.
National Trust
CHATSWORTH

Chatsworth is one of Britain's great stately homes. It is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, whose family, the Cavendishes, has owned the 35,000 acre estate since the 16th century, when the first house was built. The house is famous for its magnificent Baroque interiors and works of art from ancient Egypt, Rome, the great masters - and more modern artists. Outside, there are acres of parkland and lovely gardens to explore, including a maze to get lost in.  It is famous for its cascade, a large water feature with water tumbling down a long series of steps - which dates from the 17th century. It is also famous for its Emperor Fountain. Events are held throughout the year, including concerts and outdoor theatre.

Nr Bakewell
Derbyshire
DE45 1PN
Stuart
Chatsworth's website
Between Bakewell and Chesterfield
Private - open to the public