Living in Derbyshire, I am spoiled for beautiful locations to spend a morning exploring.
I can’t think of anywhere better to pay a visit than my favourite of all English country houses, Haddon Hall.
Especially on a warm, sunny spring day.
Haddon Hall is as perfectly preserved a medieval manor house as you will find anywhere. An enchanting time capsule that will transport you back in time. The origins of the hall date back to the 11th century and display an array of home improvements through out the ages, the house now encapsulating a full medieval kitchen, a Tudor long gallery, a 14th century banqueting hall complete with minstrels’ gallery and Elizabethan gardens.
Haddon Hall truly is a gem.
So a few days ago my sister Tiff and I jumped in the car and took a journey towards Bakewell, where this historical jewel is located.
As you approach the property you cross the River Wye and are greeted with a glimpse of the hall on the horizon, beckoning you over.
Haddon Hall is the home of the Dukes of Rutland and has been in the family since 1563. The Manners family became Earls and then later on, Dukes and with their new titles came a move to Belvoir Castle. This meant that Haddon Hall remained relatively unused for a number of centuries and as such, to the benefit of us today, remained virtually unaltered since the 16th century.
Thankfully, the 9th Duke of Rutland saw the historical value of the hall and began restoring the property at the beginning of the 20th century so it was once again inhabitable. And the family has been living here once again ever since, currently by Lord Edward Manners (brother to the current Duke).
As you enter through the ancient wooden doors you walk straight into the courtyard, which looks as though its been pulled straight out of the medieval period.
Entering the main house through the doorway centrally located off the courtyard, you emerge into the 14th century banqueting hall.
Complete with high table, ancient tapestries, full working fireplace, original wooden 15th & 16th century furniture, viewing gallery and antlers galore!
Just off the banqueting hall is the old dining room. A beautiful oak panelled room, adorned with wooden carvings towards the top of the walls of wild boars and coats of arms and paintings of Tudor roses pop out of the ceiling.
The dining room opens onto the splendid Elizabethan gardens which look out over the River Wye below and provide views out over Derbyshire for miles around. Well worth a wander.
Garden photo overload. As you can tell, we spent some time out there enjoying it!
But there is still plenty more to enjoy inside. One being the long gallery.
And two being the perfectly preserved 17th century kitchens..which I’m a little bit in love with.
And needless to say, the 12th century chapel.
But don’t take my word for it, go and see for yourself.