Boughton House, Northamptonshire by Baz Richardson
Boughton House is just to the north of Kettering in Northamptonshire, and the estate, which is owned by the Duke of Buccleuch, extends to cover several local villages. The original house was a monastic building but Sir Edward Montagu, Lord Chief Justice to King Henry VIII, purchased it in 1528 just prior to the Dissolution of the Monasteries and began to convert it into a mansion. Most of the present building is the work of Ralph Montagu, 1st Duke of Montagu (d.1709) who inherited the house in 1683. Boughton is one of Britain’s grandest and best-preserved stately homes, and is said to be Britain’s version of Versailles. Following the death of George, 3rd Duke of Montagu in 1790 the house passed, through the marriage of his daughter, Elizabeth, to Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch (and 5th Duke of Queensberry). Boughton House has been little used or altered since the mid-18th century, but has been well cared for. Because of this it has some of the best preserved baroque state rooms in the British Isles.