Bilham Project

Bilham Belvedere Photo Gallery.

Click on any image to enter the gallery.

The Castle.

An eighteenth century summerhouse, name of Belvedere,

From why and where it is, a magnificent view from here,

Standing in a deciduous wood; Summerhouse Plantation,

Overlooking a vast terrain, an imposing situation.

This edifice is our Castle, it thrills our eager blood,

Summerhouse Plantation is therefore Castle Wood.

A roofless derelict ruin, an ideal adventure ground,

Perfect for our merry games where many birds are found.

We clamber up the chimney, to sit on the walls above,

A certain amount of danger but something which we love.

Sometimes in the seasons the weather can be dire,

Then we gather brushwood and build ourselves a fire;

All joined together in friendship, cosy, warm and dry,

To laugh and sing our cares away and let the world go by.

 John Davison.

Bilham Belvedere is a ruined summer house situated in woodland between old Brodsworth and Hickleton. I have been researching the building for over 10 years on and off and can’t help being mesmerised by it. I have photographed it, filmed it, drawn it and animated it and sometimes I am just happy to look at it. Below are some video’s that I have made along the way including some animations I have created in sketch-up.

 “I too have been in love with the ‘castle’ since I first scrambled up its central chimney in 1938 searching for birds nests e.g; Jackdaw, Stock Dove, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Kestrel etc. We never came down by the chimney, there was a pine tree at the south east corner of the ruin which we would fall onto { about 36″ ] and thence to the ground. [ I’ve done that a few times !] The wood was known as the ‘Cassy’ to us I lived in Thurnscoe then, about two miles from the place, my last visit was in February 1999. There was a huge rookery there until about 1950, oh, how I loved to climb to the nests. Incidentally, there were many rookeries around Thurnscoe; Castle Wood, Cave Wood [Watchley Crags] Hooton Pagnell [by the church] and Clayton. Only two are left i.e. Thurnscoe and Marr. I could go on and on about the area, ‘my’ green oasis surrounded by several collieries, I used to work at Hickleton Main. Keep up with the good work. Yours, John Davison”.

6 responses to “Bilham Project

  1. I think that Bilham Belvedere is an impressive survivor, commanding one of the best viewpoints in the area. I have been interested in this place for years. In fact, I would also be interested to see a picture or drawing of the long gone Bilham House, the erstwhile manor to which the Belvedere belonged. I also often wonder about the lakes and pools in the wood farther along the road towards Hooton Pagnell – as they look man-made then maybe they were all part of the same estate?

  2. As you know I am captivated by Bilham Belvedere, I would love to see the photos you have taken, also I have only gazed adoringly at the building from a distance, who do I ask permission from to have a poke about in the ruin.

    • Clare, you need to speak to Brodsworth Estates who are based at the side of Brodsworth Hall but are separate from English Heritage.
      Alternatively, you can tell me when you would like to see it and I will arrange to meet you there and show you around.
      I have the direct numbers for the gamekeepers and caretakers who can give permissions.

      • Thankyou so much for your kind offer I would love to meet you, I can can make myself available to suit you.

        07929234401 this is my mobile number, next time you’re free and fancy meeting up just give me a text or call

        Kind regards

  3. Thankyou for your prompt reply. Would you be able to tell me if the building is listed, I would guess from the modern brick work done in the nineties that it couldn’t be listed but I bow to your greater knowledge on the subject.

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