UK’s Firework Champions 2023: Belvoir Castle edition

Sept. 13, 2023

As long as the UK’s 2023 Firework Championship continues, we at SuperFireworks Co., Ltd. use the chance to provide our readers not only with the entertaining videos of fantastic fireworks but also with some interesting facts concerning the history and architecture of the sites where this event takes place!

Belvoir is a faux historic castle and stately home in Leicestershire, England. The castle's name means beautiful view. It was a Norman import by the French-speaking invaders of the 11th century, but the native Anglo-Saxon population was unable to pronounce such a foreign word, preferring to call it "Beaver Castle" – a usage which persists today.

The Castle was first built immediately after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and has since been rebuilt at least three times!

By 1464, the Norman castle was recorded to be ruins. In 1528 a construction of a large Tudor manor house started (completed in 1555).

In 1649, the Tudor building was razed by Parliamentarians because of the family's support for the Royalists. But six years later, construction on a large family home - designed by the architect John Webb - was started in 1654.  Work was completed by 1668  and cost £11,730 (£2.14 million today).

Belvoir Castle has been the home of the Manners family for five hundred years and seat of the Dukes of Rutland for over three centuries. In 1799, the 5th Duke of Rutland married Lady Elizabeth Howard. The new Duchess of Rutland soon chose architect James Wyatt to rebuild the castle in the romantic Gothic Revival style. The Duke, one of the wealthiest landholders in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, sold seven assorted villages and their surrounding lands to fund the massive project. The project was nearing completion when, on 26 October 1816, it was almost destroyed by a fire. The loss - including pictures by Titian, Rubens, van Dyck, and Reynolds - was estimated at £120,000 (£9.77 million today). Rebuilt, again, to largely the same designs, at a cost of an additional £82,000 (£8.11 million today), the castle was largely completed by 1832. This is how it looks today.

The castle is open to the public and contains many works of art. A portion of the castle is still used as the family home of the Manners family. Several films and television programmes have used it as a location including The Da Vinci Code. Since 2013, each year over the autumnal equinox, the 24-hour ultra marathon Equinox24 has been held, with runners covering a 10-kilometre circuit through the country estate, with the castle as a backdrop.

On August 19, 2023 the castle was used as a site for the third installment of the 2023 Fireworks Champions. The competing teams were Flashpoint Fireworks, The Fireworkers and Gala Fireworks, with Selstar Fireworks providing the closing display. Gala Fireworks were announced the winners of the night!

Please enjoy the footage of all four teams performing that night as well!

Stay tuned and stay super with SuperFireworks Company!