American Friends of Belvoir Castle
For the past twenty years, I have had the immense privilege of being able to call Belvoir Castle ‘home’. It is one of the great treasure houses of England and 36 generations of our family have resided here in an unbroken line for almost one thousand years.
Belvoir was never designed to be a home for one nuclear family, but to lie at the centre of a web of connections: through the estate, in the country around it and across the world. Yet it remains a private estate and while it receives very little external funding, its extensive collections, gardens, landscape and the fabric of the castle are in need of constant attention. As we look to the future, we face a challenging question: in times as uncertain as they are now, how to keep safe a one thousand year old estate not just for this generation and the next, but for many generations to come?
American Friends of Belvoir Castle, Inc. is one part of the answer. It has been created by our friends in America as an opportunity for those who already know and love Belvoir and those with a passion for England and history, to raise funds for and support the restoration of those elements of this great English estate that are essential to its character. Elements that might otherwise moulder or lie forgotten.
“As much as Belvoir is a Castle Shaped by History, we will always look to the future.”
It is starting with three exciting projects: to conserve and restore the celebrated 18th century Chinese wallpaper that hangs in four of the state bedrooms and to clear the Memorial Lakes, thereby completing the plans for the park drawn up by the great landscape gardener Capability Brown, 250 years ago. There is also to be an apprenticeship for an American student of land management to spend six months working with Belvoir’s team, learning first-hand how a great English estate is managed.
The American trustees are as excited about these plans as we are – they offer so much potential, not just for Belvoir but for those who have expressed a desire for a deeper engagement with this magical place and who share our wish to help safeguard it for future generations.
I think of Belvoir as a pioneer wagon, crossing the prairies to a land of new hope. If you put your shoulder to the wheel and become a Founder Patron or Friend, we will get Belvoir rolling again, and once we start, it will be hard to stop! A little help now, a little oil on the wheel and we shall set in motion a process that will safeguard the future of this great estate for generations to come.
Duchess of Rutland
American Friends of Belvoir Castle Inc. is a US 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation and is governed by an independent board of directors. Gifts and donations made by US taxpayers to American Friends of Belvoir Castle are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. A tax receipt in the form acceptable to the Internal Revenue Service will be issued for every gift and donation received.