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.
In contrast to the grandeur of the State Rooms, the Old Kitchen and Bakery fuel the imagination of 'below the stairs' life in 1825, while the School Room and Nursery enable children to experience lessons and games from Regency times.
The Castle contains many notable pieces of art and includes paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Holbein and Poussin. It houses outstanding collections of furniture, porcelain, silks, tapestries, French furniture and Italian sculpture. Sculpture extends outside into 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.
When Elizabeth (the 5th Duchess) commissioned James Wyatt to build the Castle in 1799 she undertook the design and landscaping of the gardens, park and grounds herself (see 'Gardens'). She saw the entire Vale of Belvoir as her garden and was merely framing the views with her valley gardens.