A Travellerspoint blog

Haddon Hall

Bakewell, Derbyshire

As part of our trip to the Peak District, our wonderful AirBnb host recommended we check out Haddon Hall. It was originally not part of our plan for the Peak District, but I can't resist a good hall, manor, house, castle, etc. Haddon Hall is an English country house on the River Wye near Bakewell, Derbyshire. Again, I'm not sure I understand "country house" as the description of the house, it is like a castle. Haddon is often referred to as a "fortified manor house." Haddon Hall is the seat of the Duke of Rutland (who also owns and lives at Belvoir Castle). The Duke's brother, Lord Manners, lives at Haddon and we were told the family was entertaining later that evening. The hall was thought to have been originally constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries. The oldest part of the Hall is King John's Wall (pictures below) thought to date back to 1195 and modified in 1370. Haddon Hall has been in the Manners family since 1567.

Haddon Hall: https://www.haddonhall.co.uk

We were on a self-guided tour of Haddon Hall. There was a brief discussion on the house in the Banqueting Hall when we arrived. We entered the Hall under the North-West Tower, and then walked through the Lower Courtyard.

River Wye:

Lower Courtyard:

Then, we made our way to the kitchen.
Food preparation table worn down:
Much loved cutting board:
Three kitchen sinks. Live fish may have been kept in one of the basins:

Next was the Bakery, with dual ovens:

The Butchery:

The Buttery:

The Dole cupboards were in between the Bakery and the Butchery. These wooden "dole" cupboards were filled with food and leftovers from the kitchen and placed outside in the evenings so people passing by could take some of the food without having to ask. Apparently the phrase "on the dole" comes from the Dole cupboards. I've never heard the phrase before.

We walked to the Banqueting Hall next. This one one of my favorite rooms in the house. There was also a fire going, so that may have had something to do with it ;). Fun fact about the table, apparently when the family was finished eating the table would be opened up for the dogs to clean off. There were even dog gates at the bottom of the steps, which I didn't get a picture of because I didn't realize they were dog gates.
The Minstrel's Gallery in the background of this picture dates back to the 15th century.
One of the windows in the Banqueting Hall:
The tapestry on the wall is said to have been a gift from Henry VIII. The tapestry was probably made during the reign of King Edward IV in the 15th century.

We then moved into The Parlour, or for us commoners, the Dining Room. This room had extensive intricate woodwork. I tried to get a few pictures but I am not quite sure they capture the level of detail.
Example of the detailed woodwork:

In the window recess of the Parlour:
Carved figures in oak paneling, possibly Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth of York.
View from the Parlour:

Onto the Great Chamber:
Window recess in the Great Chamber:

The Earl's Apartment. There was a small fireplace in the corner of the room and several royals who have visited Haddon signed their names here.

The Long Gallery is probably the most famous room in the house. The room would have been used as what us commoners would call an indoor track so one could still exercise without having to endure the elements outside. The Long Gallery was also used for less strenuous activities such as gaming and needlework and probably also for balls. The windows are really unique in this room. The diamond shaped panes are set at different angles giving it a wavey appearance which maximizes the use of daylight.
Window pane:

We walked through a few Ante-rooms with beautiful tapestries on the walls. Tapestries were a sign of wealth.

Our final room was the State Bedroom. There is no bed in the State Bedroom, but there is a billiards table. The state bed was moved to Belvoir Castle and sits in the Picture Gallery there. Also, I took a picture of what the room would have looked like back in the day.

Oldest Part of Haddon Hall, King John's Wall:

The Chapel was really interesting. The frescoes on the wall are thought to have been commissioned in the 15th century.

The gardens at Haddon were beautiful. The weather wasn't very cooperative, but I managed to get out during breaks in the rain to take a few pictures. I really enjoyed the different levels of gardens.

Haddon Hall is definitely one of my absolute favorite Halls that we have visited in England. The gardens were beautiful and the hall had a somewhat "homely" feel to it. On to Chatsworth House...

Posted by LCP 01:58 Archived in England Tagged of district peak hall duke manners vernon bakewell haddon belvoir rutland Comments (2)

Peak District


Greetings! Our next adventure took us to the Peak District. We had heard many wonderful things about the Peak District and we were looking for something local to do for a few days, so this worked out quite well. The Peak District is an upland area in England at the southern end of the Pennines which are a range of mountains and hills in England. The area has been inhabited since the Mesolithic era, and evidence exists from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, as well. The Peak District was settled by the Romans and Anglo-Saxons and remained largely agricultural until mining grew in importance in the medieval era. The Peak District National Park became the first national park in the United Kingdom in 1951.

Peak District: https://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/home

We stayed in Matlock which is a town in Derbyshire, England. It is situated at the southeastern part of the Peak District, with the National Park directly to the west. The town is "twinned" with the French town Eaubonne, which means the two cities are sister cities and promote understanding of different cultures. The "twinned" concept started following following World War II. We stayed in an AirBnb that was dog friendly and our room had an amazing view. Our host was absolutely wonderful. She baked breakfast for us each morning, breads and muffins, and they were delicious. She was extremely thoughtful and gave us some wonderful recommendations. We could walk right outside and start a good walk. Although the weather was terrible leading up to our trip and during a lot of our trip, there were lots of things to do.

AirBnb in Matlock: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/23242661

While we were in Matlock we went to Haddon Hall, Nine Ladies Stone Circle, Early Grey Tower, and Chatsworth House. Since that is quite a lot of ground to cover and quite a few pictures :), I am going to do separate posts on Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House. Nine Ladies Stone Circle and Earl Grey Tower were a short walk from our AirBnb, so we grabbed Penny one morning and started off.

Views from room:
Haddon Hall in the background:

Penny enjoying her morning view:

Penny trying to find the squirrels:

A few pictures from the hike up:

Nine Ladies Stone Circle is an English Heritage Site located in Staton Moor which is a small upland area in the Derbyshire Peak District, lying between Matlock and Bakewell near the villages of Birchover and Stanton-in-Peak. The site is free to the public. The stone circle reportedly dates back to the early Bronze Age and depicts nine ladies that were turned to stone as punishment for dancing on Sunday (I am guessing there would be a lot more stones these days, ha!).

Earl Grey Tower is also located in Staton Moor as well. Earl Grey Tower was constructed in 1832 and dedicated to the Reform Act 1832, which gave every man the right to vote (sorry ladies) and I am guessing before the act was passed only the wealthy could have their say.

Views on the way down:

Penny returning from her hike:

If birdwatching is your thing, my better half enjoys it and found at least 19 different types of birds just outside of our window!

The Peak District is stunning and we definitely have plans to come back. We hope to get to the Mam tor Circular Walk next time. It is a National Trust Site that has stunning view of the Peak District. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and the rain was relentless. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate a bit more on our next visit. We will also stay in the same AirBnb, if it is available. You cannot beat the location. Matlock is a cute village and we enjoyed the amenities and all of the things to do. It is near anything and everything you could want to do in the Peak District.

Onto Haddon Hall...

Posted by LCP 01:46 Archived in England Tagged tower walk national stone sisters district tor peak grey circle early trust mam nine matlock Comments (0)

Woolsthorpe Manor

Childhood home of Sir Isaac Newton - Lincolnshire

Greetings! Today's adventure took us to Woolsthorpe Manor in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, near Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. Woolsthorpe Manor was the childhood home of Sir Isaac Newton. It is a National Trust Property these days and described as a seventeenth century yeoman's farmstead with a focus on sheep rearing. Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day 1642 to recently widowed Hannah Ayscough. Newton was born very small and Hannah reportedly said he could fit into a quart pot. He was not expected to survive the night. Newton was a curious lad who had no interest in farm work and reportedly drove his mother crazy with all of his experimentation. Newton attended college in Cambridge, but returned home in 1666 during the plague which closed Cambridge University. He conducted many of his famous experiments at Woolsthorpe and it is the place where he reportedly saw the apple fall from the tree. Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author who is widely respected as one of the most influential scientists of all time, and a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica was first published in 1687, was the foundation of classical mechanics. Newton also made several contributions to study of optics. Newton never married. He died 1727 in London and is buried at Westminster Abbey.

Woolsthorpe Manor: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/woolsthorpe-manor

Woolsthorpe Manor:

Newton's Room:
Isaac's den:

Room where Sir Issac Newton was born:

Dining room:

Newton apparently was fascinated by spires, so he drew one on the wall in the kitchen:

He was also fascinated by windmills and attempted to draw one on the wall as well:



Here is the famous apple tree, or least a descendent. The original tree laid roots about 400 years ago and the tree has been shown to visitors for over 240 years (some enterprising individual even carved the year they visited into the stairwell at the house, the year was in the 1700s). The original tree blew over in a storm and the current tree that we saw grew from roots in the original trunk. What kind of apples grow on the tree you might ask? Well, the species of apples is called "Flower of Kent." These types of apples are best for baking. Also, the apple didn't really hit Isaac in the head, he was apparently reading near the tree and saw it fall from the tree. Several decendents of the tree are located all around the world. Some small grafts of the tree were taken into space for growth experiments.

Little garden at the front of the house.

We enjoyed learning about Sir Isaac Newton's life and his contributions to science and math. Woolsthorpe Manor was another lovely National Trust Site. The Trust does a fantastic job with all of these properties.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 08:07 Archived in England Tagged manor national apple isaac newton sir trust lincolnshire woolsthorpe Comments (2)

Oxburgh Hall


Greetings! Our next adventure took us to Oxburgh Hall, a moated country house, entrusted to the National Trust in Oxborough, Norfolk. The house was constructed around 1482 by Sir Edmund Bedingfeld and remained a home to the Bedingfeld family for over 500 years. The house has survived a fire during the Civil War, neglect, and a threat of demolition. The Bedingfeld family was devoutly Catholic, and the house is famous for its secret Priest Hole. A Catholic priest may have had to hide within the small disguised room in the event of troops raiding the house. The room was reached via a trapdoor, which when closed, blends in with the tiled floor. The house also known for the "Oxburgh Hangings,"needlework created by Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury (aka Bess of Hardwick) between 1570 and 1585. These needleworks were created while Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned in England on Elizabeth I's orders.

Oxburgh Hall: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/oxburgh-hall?PlaceMapClick=254

Oxburgh Hall, A fortified manor house:

We were on a self-guided tour which started in the South Corridor and led into the Saloon:
Antwerp Cabinet:

From the Saloon, we entered the West Drawing Room, followed by the West Staircase:
Artifacts in West Drawing Room:
Lion on the staircase banister:
Wallpaper along staircase:

After the West Staircase, we came to my favorite room in the manor, the Library:
Secret servant door in Library:
View from Library:

From the Library, we were led into the Dining Room and then the North Staircase:

North Staircase:

From the North Staircase we walked through the Lobby into the North Bedroom and the Boudoir.
Portrait of a Carmelite nun:

Area above North Bedroom fireplace:

The Boudoir:

After the Boudoir we wanted into the Marian Hangings Room, which display the Oxburgh Hangings. This is where the embroideries and needlework that were created by Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, were presumably moved after 1973. Mary, Queen of Scots, was not imprisoned at Oxburgh. She was considered a threat to the throne by Elizabeth I. Elizabeth I kept Mary, Queen of Scots, captive under the watchful eye of the Countess of Shrewsbury's husband, the Early of Shrewsbury who held Mary at several of his properties throughout England: Tutbury Castle, Sheffield Castle, Sheffield Manor Lodge, Wingfield Manor and Chatsworth House, which are all located in the interior of England halfway between Scotland and London. The embroideries arrived to Oxburgh in 1761 as a marriage present for Mary Browne, of Cowdray Park, to Sir Richard Bedingfeld and were used as bed hangings in the King's Room and remained there until 1973.
These scissors reportedly belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots:

Following the Marian Hangings Room, we went into the King's Bedroom. This room really wasn't a bedroom, it was more for show, according to the docent. The room is located right above then archway at the entrance to the hall:

Off to the side of the King's Room was the secret Priest Hole:

Next we took a small staircase to the Queen's Room and to the Roof:


The concluded the tour of the manor. We opted to find the Chapel and take a Woodlands Walk.
The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception and St. Margaret:


Gardens on the side of the manor:

Oxburgh Hall was a lovely manor. The cafe served the most delicious honey and ginger scones! We had a great time touring this property and would most definitely return.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 10:06 Archived in England Tagged of priest queen norfolk national i mary hall elizabeth trust catholicism scots oxburgh Comments (1)

Belvoir Castle


Greetings! Today's adventure took us to Belvoir Castle, meaning "beautiful view." The name Belvoir is actually pronounced Beaver... Yes, beaver...Not sure I understand how Belvoir became Beaver, but oh well. The castle is privately owned by the 11th Duke of Rutland who lives at the castle (the Duke also owns Haddon Hall which is located in the Peak District because who doesn't need two manors these days), and is open to the public on certain dates throughout the year. The house has been lived in by the family for over 500 years. The castle is famous for being the Windsor Castle "stand in" for the Netflix series, The Crown. It has also been used in several films that feature royal history. Every monarch since James I has stayed overnight at Belvoir Castle, except for the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II (although she has been to Belvoir).

Belvoir Castle: https://www.belvoircastle.com

There have been four castles built on the hilltop. The first ground breaking was in 1067 and the castle as we saw it when we visited was from the 19th century and renovated between 1801 and 1832. Elizabeth Manners, the wife of the 5th Duke of Rutland, oversaw the renovations and clearly decorated the castle for showing off and entertaining. She took inspiration from traveling across Europe and recreated those inspirations at Belvoir. Each new generation of the Rutland family that takes over the castle, leaves their mark in one room or another. To call the castle opulent was certainly an understatement, it was spectacular! Unfortunately, photography was not allowed inside of the castle, so I took some exterior pictures as well as several in the Rose Garden. Capability Brown's last "great" garden design was also at Belvoir. I just can't seem to escape his "landscape artistry." There are several gardens and walks at the castle (Japanese Woodland, Duchess's Garden, Hermit's Garden, and the Duke's Walk), but we were only able to get to the Spiral Garden and the Rose Garden.

Fun fact, there are a couple of books our tour guide suggested that are associated with Belvoir Castle. One which the current Duke of Rutland authored and another based on some history of the house. I included links below, in case anyone would like more information about the books.

Resolution: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Resolution-Brothers-Nation-Crisis-World/dp/1784979910
The Secret Rooms: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/nov/16/the-secret-rooms-catherine-bailey-review





Belvoir Castle was pretty spectacular and definitely did remind me of Windsor Castle in many ways. It definitely had the typical Norman feel to it; high on a hilltop (hard to invade) and fortified, which is pretty typical of the defensive network of castles William the Conqueror had constructed. We had a great tour guide during our tour and I would like to return to explore some of the other walking trails and gardens.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 23:47 Archived in England Tagged the of castle norman crown duke william brown beaver manners capability belvoir rutland conqueror Comments (2)

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