Haddon Hall - home of the Manners family, Dukes of Rutland. Bakewell, Derbyshire Peak District
The Peak District covers much of Derbyshire and parts of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. There are numerous interesting towns such as Ashbourne, Bakewell, Buxton, Leek, Matlock and Wirksworth, plus many enchanting villages
The manor of Haddon was originally in the hands of the Peveril family (just after the Norman Conquest), but was forfeited to the Crown in 1153. It then passed to a tenant of the Peverils, William Avenal, and was acquired in 1170 by Richard Vernon, who had married Avenal's daughter. The Vernons were responsible for most of the buildings at Haddon Hall, apart from the Peveril Tower and part of the Chapel, which were already there in 1170. The Long Gallery is the only significant part which was added later.
In 1563 the heir to the manor, Dorothy Vernon, married (or as local legend says - eloped with) John Manners and the Hall has been in the hands of the Manners family ever since. It's interesting to note that the Hall has never been bought or sold.
The Manners family became the Earls, later Dukes, of Rutland and they moved their main seat to Belvoir Castle, using the hall very little in the 18th and 19th centuries. The result was that it was almost unaltered since the end of the 16th century when the 9th Duke realised its importance and began restoration after moving there in 1912.
The house is in a beautiful situation and is very well preserved - even down to kitchens straight from the 17th century - so it looks magnificent.
The entrance courtyard still looks perfectly medieval, with gargoyles and crenelated walls.
To the right hand side of the courtyard lies the Hall chapel, which looks much as it did in medieval times, and contains a beautiful carved alabaster retablo and pre-Reformation frescos which have been revealed from beneath the whitewash which hid them for centuries.
Next door there is the Dining Room - a fine oak paneled room with minature portraits of Henry VII and his Queen.
Beyond this lies a Tudor period Long Gallery, constructed around 1600. From the steps at the end of the Gallery Dorothy Vernon is said to have eloped with her lover, John Manners in 1558. These steps lead out into the gardens (which are very fine) and down to the River Wye.
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How to get there
The Hall lies just off the A6 and a car park is provided opposite the entrance to the Hall - price £2.50 per car. The A6 is a very busy road and crossing this can be a little difficult.
By Bus: The Trans-Peak bus between Derby->Matlock->Bakewell->Buxton->Manchester goes right past the door, as does the R61 Derby-Bakewell bus. From Sheffield take the 240 bus to Bakewell and then pick up the Trans-Peak or R61 to get to the Hall. From Chesterfield take the 170 bus to Bakewell and then as for Sheffield.
By Train: The nearest railway stations are Chesterfield (trains from Sheffield and London) or Matlock (trains from Derby).
When is it open?
Haddon Hall is open from 8th April to the end of September, Saturday-Monday in October. Closed after 1st November except 1st - 18th December.
Opening hours are from 10.30 am to 5.00 pm (last entrance at 4pm).
What does it cost?
Adult £13.50/ Concessions £13.00/ Children 5-16 £7.00 (Under 5 free) / Family (2 Adults 2 Children) £35.00/ Student £13.00 / Car Parking £2.50 per car. Regular Visitor passes are available at a discount.
Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary. See this link for more information on prices and opening
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