Belsay Hall and Garden
Belsay Hall and Garden
There are not one but three attractions to see at Belsay. The most prominent is Belsay Hall, a lovely mansion built in the early 19th century by Sir Charles Monck, a member of the Middleton family who were also responsible for the nearby castle and mansion house. Monck was greatly inspired by a visit to Greece, and he created his grand house in classical Greek Revival style inspired by the Temple of Theseus in Athens.
At the centre of the hall is a stunning 'Pillar Hall' which rises two stories up to a cupola'd skylight. Everywhere are elegant columns and classical Greek motifs. The interior has been shorn of all furniture or other ornamentation, the better to showcase the superb architecture

The Hall is set in stunning gardens, also the creation of Sir Charles Monck. At the heart of the gardens is the Quarry Garden, a romantic ferned area created where stone was quarried for the building of the Hall. The garden was later expanded by Sir Charles's grandson, Arthur, who added a Winter Garden, Yew Garden, and Magnolia Terrace.

A short walk on level paths brings you to Belsay Castle, where you will see not one, but two former residences of the Middleton family. The first is the castle, a 14th century fortification at the heart of which is a pele tower. The pele was later extended with the addition of a 17th century wing to form a mansion more suiting the relatively more settled Jacobean period.