7 August 2014

Haddon

Shirley and the gatehouse to Haddon Hall
Shirley has been on holiday this week so on Monday morning we went to Bakewell Market. We had tea and scones in the methodist church on Matlock Road and afterwards drove a couple of miles further along the A6 to Haddon Hall. In all the time we have lived in Sheffield, neither of us had ever been there before. Fortunately we visited it on yet another sunshiny English summer's afternoon and were also able to join a free guided tour of the property.

Unlike nearby and magnificent Chatsworth House, Haddon Hall is a hotch potch of architectural elements that grew organically as the house journeyed through the centuries. Originally, there was a little agricultural hamlet here - on a ridge overlooking the River Wye but some time long ago - in the twelfth century - the noble Vernon family kind of took over the hamlet and built their first stronghold here - approved by King John (1167 -1216).

Eventually, the Vernons joined with the Earls of Rutland through marriage and Haddon Hall became the family seat of the noble Manners family. I think it was during the eighteenth century that the hall fell into disuse. The Manners family preferred to live elsewhere - including Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. Luckily Haddon Hall was looked after by a series of caretakers and though no major modifications were made for two hundred years it did not fall into a state of dereliction. It was as late as the nineteen twenties that a modern member of the Manners family really took a shine to Haddon Hall and decided to live there once more. He recognised the unspoilt beauty of the place and respected the stories of long ago that its ancient stones might have told if they could speak. He refused to change it very much and any changes that were made were sympathetic.

Haddon Hall has been referred to as the most natural and unspoilt stately home in England and we are fortunate that it exists in its current form. To find out more about Haddon Hall why not go to the official website. In the meantime, here are some more photographs I snapped on Monday afternoon:-
In The Long Gallery - the boar's head - symbol of the Vernons
and below the peacock - symbol of the Manners family

Lady Vernon's Bridge over the River Wye
Main entrance through the courtyard
Marble effigy of Lord Haddon (1885 -1894)
Roman altar discovered in the grounds of Haddon Hall

14 comments:

  1. It is a superb place my first paid job was milking cows here. We couldn't go inside cos we was peasants. We did get extra for sheep catching. The Duke lived in a beaver If I remember right. Never thought anything of it at the time but now it does seem a bit pervous.

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    1. Belvoir? Is that pronounced "Beaver"? I wonder what your hand milking technique was? I bet the cows rolled their eyes when they saw you coming Adrian!

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  2. I've been enjoying the PBS series on English castles. What treasures! Wouldn't want to live in one, or have to take care of one. I really admire the families that have preserved their estates over the ages. That doesn't happen here very often, money grubbing is more admired than preservation.

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    1. I have been able to secure you a role in a new production of "The Wives of Henry VIII" to be filmed partly at Haddon Hall. You'll look great as a kitchen maid!

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  3. Ah, been there ! Lovely isn't it? They were playing Jane Eyre ( I think !) on a little tv set up inside as much of it was filmed there - as were quite a few other films I understand. Lovely gardens too. Have you been to Hardwick House - old and new - they are not far away and very interesting too ? Bess Hardwick was quite a gal !

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    1. Helen - You probably see yourself in Bess! Tony would be the Duke of Devonshire riding to Hardwick on his trusty steed - Dobbin!

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  4. Wonderful pics, Yorky...it looks like such a beautiful area.

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    1. Not like an island off the Queensland coast - that's for sure Lee.

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  5. I want to go there!!! The picture with the bridge is of heart-tugging quality.

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    1. You shall go there Ambassador! Haddon Hall was made for you.

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  6. I went to leave a message yesterday ~ but was a tad shocked :o ~ Now about that top photo ~ yes it is a photo of the gatehouse (lots of gatehouse), the blue car (lots of blue car), shadow on the right (lots of shadow), but Shirley? Com'n man ~ I think you were standing too close :D P.S. you did capture her beautiful smile and her lovely Summer outfit.

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    1. DPS? Eh? Do you mean - Descent Propulsion System - the rocket engine used in Apollo's Lunar Module?

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    2. :D
      P.S. enjoy your walk

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  7. "as the house journeyed through the centuries". Beautiful clause. It certainly looks like a place I would have on my 'to visit' list.

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