Special exhibitions allow items to be displayed in a new and intimate context.
The Treasury is a purpose-built display area which gives the opportunity for a series of special exhibitions that focus upon areas of the collection that cannot usually be displayed in the staterooms. In recent years there have been exhibitions of the world famous Burghley collection of Chinese snuff bottles, rare Japanese Kakiemon ceramics, of treasures from the Elizabethan period, European ceramics and a stunning collection of Japanese Lacquer.
William Cecil, Builder of Burghley Exhibition
Our 2020 Exhibition continues the celebration of 500 years since the birth of William Cecil, with items displayed from that period, some of which are believed to have been at Burghley during Lord Burghley’s lifetime.
The ‘William Cecil, Builder of Burghley Exhibition’ will feature a wide selection of rare items relating to the Treasurer’s life and times. These will include his atlas which contains hand coloured maps carrying his annotations. A Chinese silver-mounted porcelain bowl presented by Queen Elizabeth I and the earliest known plan of a London house and garden – Cecil on the Strand. A splendid selection of 16th Century objects will be included, with silver, ceramics and rare books stretching back to William Cecil’s period.
Also, new for 2020 will be a timeline exhibition detailing Cecil’s life and achievements. This will demonstrate his immense influence over politics, religion and daily life of 16th Century England. It will also reveal him as an astonishingly skilled designer and builder, responsible for two of the greatest prodigy houses in England.
‘Capability’ Brown at Burghley
Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s Tercentenary in 2016 celebrated the life of the ‘father of landscape architecture’ and while he worked on many sites, Burghley provides a shining example of both his gardening and building skills.
Brown largely designed the parkland and gardens during the 18th century, but England’s greatest Elizabethan house also provides a less well-known aspect of the celebrated landscaper’s life – his architecture.
Believed to be his longest commission, during which he not only landscaped the grounds but also constructed buildings, Brown later recalled his work at the house – on the edge of the Georgian stone town of Stamford – as “25 years of pleasure”. Our dedicated exhibition and information leaflet shows his work at Burghley in the context of his career and the parkland where his work can still enjoyed.
A Loan Exhibition of Splendid Roman Statuary
Since 2016 Burghley has been delighted to display an important collection of Roman statuary, dating from the 2nd and 3rd Centuries A.D. The statues come from the collection of Ernst August, hereditary Prince of Hanover and were purchased in Italy during the mid-18th Century by his ancestor, Count Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn (1736-1811), an illegitimate son of King George II.
Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown worked for the 9th Earl of Exeter for 23 years, completely redesigning the Park and Gardens and also making important changes to the architecture of Burghley itself. One of his designs was for the rustication of the well of the Hell Staircase to make it suitable for the display of sculptures collected by Lord Exeter on his two Grand Tours, which were undertaken at almost the same dates as those taken by Prince Johann Ludwig. The loaned Wallmoden statues have since joined those from the Burghley Collection, and have been on show to visitors in the Hell Stairwell for the last few years.