Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
S36 6UF, England, United Kingdom
September 22, 2013
From journal Derbyshire
Derby, United Kingdom
March 8, 2010
From journal Days out in Derbyshire.
West Virginia, West Virginia
July 1, 2004
Standing behind its medieval curtain wall, the hall is familiar to moviegoers as the backdrop for such films as The Princess Bride, Moll Flanders, and Jane Eyre. In part due to its status as a secondary residence, it was never subjected to the kind of modernization that destroyed much of the character of similar houses elsewhere. By the early decades of the twentieth century, when the Ninth Duke of Rutland decided to begin restoration of the hall, the emphasis was truly on restoration—not renovation. As a result, the medieval kitchens, banqueting hall, and minstrels' gallery have survived largely intact.
The oldest part of the hall is the fourteenth-century chapel in the southwest corner of the lower courtyard. With its fourteenth-century wall paintings, fifteenth-century painted glass, and seventeenth-century organ, the chapel still serves the Parish of Nether Haddon, one of England's smallest parish communities.
Two of Haddon's most striking rooms are the sixteenth-century dining room, decorated with family crests and Tudor paneling, and the Long Gallery, begun by Sir George Vernon in the late sixteenth century and completed by John Manners a few years later. The design of the Long Gallery features large banks of windows alternating at opposing intervals along its length. The diamond-shaped panes of glass in these windows were set at angles to catch and reflect light in different directions. The result is a large, airy room in which natural light bounces off wood and painted surfaces with dramatic effect.
The gardens at Haddon Hall are simply stunning. When I wander about these gardens, my thoughts turn to my mother and grandmother, and to all the women of my family who have loved and tended gardens—sometimes under primitive and harsh conditions. If not a Vernon trait, perhaps this impulse to create gardens is part of their English heritage. The gardens at Haddon combine terraces, formal pathways, and carefully tended informality into a setting that is perfectly comfortable and easily accepted as natural. And in truth, the magnet that draws me back again and again to Haddon can be found in the gardens more than in the hall itself.
Haddon Hall and its gardens are still privately owned by the Manners family and are open April through October. The price of admission is currently £7.25 for adults. (For those of you who may be wondering, there is no family discount and no frequent visitor plan.)
From journal Root and Branch - Family Ties to Derbyshire