Burghley House will feature on Julian Fellowes programme

Burghley House from the private south gardens 'Photo: SM090411-018js
Burghley House from the private south gardens 'Photo: SM090411-018js
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Burghley House will be on TV tonight (Tuesday) as part of a new two-part television series from the creator of hit show Downton Abbey.

Great Houses with Julian Fellowes will be screened on ITV1 at 9pm and will take viewers on a journey to discover the lives of the people that lived and served at Burghley House, near Stamford.

Burghley House director Miranda Rock said: “We so enjoyed working with Julian Fellowes on the making of this programme. His extraordinary knowledge of life upstairs and downstairs in the English country house was invaluable in the discoveries he made about the history of Burghley. “Understanding more about those who have lived and worked here has been fascinating and it really brings the story of the house to life.”

For the last four centuries Burghley has wowed visitors, whether Elizabethan royalty, locals enjoying the parkland or tourists from across the globe. Built for Elizabeth I’s chief minister William Cecil, Lord Burghley, it now offers a packed family day out with a combined ticket giving access to the history and architecture of the house, plus two gardens.

But the new television show discovers some new stories from its past too, including the murder of cook Thomas Brinknell in the house.

Burghley curator Jon Culverhouse added: “The makers of Julian Fellowes’s programme went to extraordinary lengths to track down little-known scraps of the history of Burghley, its occupants and those who worked here.”

Goodwood House in west Sussex will also be featured on the series.

Julian, who penned Downton Abbey and is renowned for writing fiction in Britain’s great houses, said: “It is no secret that I am fascinated by the lives of those that lived inside these houses, the variety of type, the range of activities, the customs and limitations that forced men and women to shape their ambitions.

“I couldn’t wait to learn the truth about what really went on behind those great panelled doors.

“More or less every house could tell us a lot about the families who built and lived in it. But we wanted more than that, we needed to have some grasp of the detail of the servants existence and incidents we could explore. Both Burghley and Goodwood could give us that and a whole lot more besides.”

The house is closed but will reopened for the 2013 season on Saturday, March 16. For details about visiting Burghley House visit www.burghley.co.uk or phone 01780 752451.