About Haddon Hall
‘The most complete and most interesting house of its period’; ‘the finest example of a fortified medieval manor house in existence’ and ‘the most perfect house to survive from the Middle Ages’ are just some of the ways in which Haddon Hall has been described.
Located just south of the village of Bakewell in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire, the present house spans the 12th – 17th centuries and is one of the seats of the Duke of Rutland. The original owner and son of William the Conqueror, William Peveril held the manor of Haddon in 1087 according to the Domesday Book and it was in the possession of the Avenell and Vernon families until a marriage into the earldom of Rutland in 1563.
Overlooking the River Wye, the medieval and Tudor house was essentially complete by the 13th century aside from the Peveril Tower, parts of the Chapel and the magnificent Long Room that was added in the 16th. The gargoyles and crenelated walls of medieval entrance courtyard greet you and it gets more and more impressive the deeper in you go. The 17th century kitchens are beautifully preserved, as is the stone Chapel with a stunning carved alabaster retablo and pre-Reformation frescos (uncovered after centuries hidden behind whitewashed walls).
Amongst many others, the crowning glory is the magnificent Banqueting Hall dating from 1370 complete with minstrel’s gallery and what you see today is what diners saw almost 650 years ago. The oak-panelled Dining Room contains portraits of King Henry VII and his Queen and the 35-metre Long Gallery with yet more oak panelling is yet another highlight.
You’ll also find a spectacular collection of French, Flemish and English tapestries including five from the early 17th century that are said to have belonged to King Charles I as well as a beautiful walled topiary garden.
From the late 17th century, Haddon Hall was left dormant as the Dukes of Rutland shifted their main seat to Belvoir Castle until the 9th Duke, John Henry Montagu Manners moved back in 1912. Realising the hall’s importance, he devoted his life to restoring Haddon Hall to its former glory. The fruits of his (and subsequent labour) are well worth a visit!