Described by historian Simon Jenkins as ‘the most perfect house to survive from the middle ages’* Haddon’s exceptional circumstances – lying dormant for over two hundred years from the 1700s to the early 20th century – left its Tudor past intact from the time of the 16th century Vernon and Manners families, whose ancestors still live in the house today.
Glorious examples of Haddon’s ancient architecture include the magnificent Long Gallery, reputedly designed by the prominent 16th century architect Robert Smythson – whose work was behind the design of many of the country’s important later Tudor (Elizabethan) houses, including Hardwick Hall, Longleat and Wollaton Hall.
Haddon’s Long Gallery interior of crafted oak panelling, including details of fish scales, crenellations, flowers and fruit, sit by the peacock of the Manners and boar’s head of the Vernons – representing a celebration of the two families’ union at Haddon.
Other fine examples of Tudor architecture around the hall include rooms such as the panelled Parlour with Tudor Roses and Talbot dogs embellishing the ceiling, the unspoiled Tudor kitchen with its stone bread ovens, chopping blocks, and water troughs and the magnificent Banqueting Hall with its impressive panelled fireplace.
Haddon is also decorated with one of the finest collection of early English furniture in the country, with many of the pieces – such as the dais table – still positioned in situ from the day they were crafted.
Each year as part of Haddon Hall’s events programme, the Tudor Group – featuring Tudor historian and TV presenter Ruth Goodman – base themselves within Haddon’s walls on key dates throughout the season to entertain visitors with re-enactments of life from Tudor times. Over the Bank Holiday weekend of May 23-25, see the Tudor Group celebrate Whitsun, with displays of traditional pastimes including dance, music, food and drink enjoyed around this ancient May holiday.
Haddon Hall opens for 2015 season on Wednesday 1st April, and tours exploring the development of Haddon Hall in the Tudor times are available for groups throughout the year, by appointment.
Please refer to www.haddonhall.co.uk or call 01629 812855 for the 2015 season opening and admission information.
For more information, photographs or interviews please contact: Jane Travis, Communications Consultant, on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07779 586312
Notes to editors
* from Simon Jenkins’ book: ‘England’s Thousand Best Houses’
- Haddon Hall is situated between Bakewell and Matlock in the Peak District National Park and is three miles from Chatsworth House.
- Lord Edward Manners inherited Haddon in 1999 on the death of his father the 10th Duke of Rutland. Manners is the family name of the Dukes of Rutland. Lord Edward is married to Gabrielle, Lady Edward Manners and they have twin boys Alfred and Vesey who were born in November 2013.
- Haddon was built as a Norman fort at the beginning of the 12th Century making it one the oldest houses in the country – and was added to and developed from then to the 17th century.