Between April and June, guests were invited to step inside the world of Jane Eyre in our exclusive promenade performances.
Audience members followed the cast around Haddon (Thornfield Hall) as they performed a wonderful script by local writer, Gillian Shimwell.
“A magical experience. An innovative way to tell the story, with wonderful acting, an atmospheric and beautiful house and moving from room to room with the actors as the story unfolds.”
Read our blog about why Haddon makes the perfect Thornfield Hall.
Our Artisan Markets were more popular than ever this year, with the Winter event being the biggest yet.
Local traders and craftspeople lined the Halls in July and November, selling a vast variety of artisan goods, from food to jewellery, clothing to decorations.
This year’s Halloween event was a little different. Visitors will sought out marks made to warn off evil spirits in the 900 year old Hall, led by one of our experienced guides.
Evening tours focused on the apotropaic marks to be found around the Hall, said to have powers to avert evil influences or bad luck, also known as ‘Witches’ marks, with frightening family fun in the day time.
We certainly had a busy festive season this year, with our Winter Artisan Market, Candlelight Tours and decorations themed around the best Christmas carols around.
We were thrilled to hear that we were able to contribute so much joy to visitors’ festive celebrations, and hope that each and every one of you had a lovely Christmas.
We’d like to wish everyone a very happy New Year and would love to hear about your favourite moments from 2017.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Haddon Hall in 2018.
Christmas at Haddon Hall is always a truly memorable occasion, and we’re certain that 2017 will be no exception. To make planning your trip that little bit easier, we’ve put together a handy guide to all things festive on the Haddon Estate…
Winter Artisan Market
17th November 2017 – 19th November 2017
The perfect opportunity to make a magical start to your Christmas shopping, our Winter Artisan Market will last for three days between Friday 17th November – Sunday 19th November.
Over 100 local artisans will be showcasing their unique creations throughout our historic rooms, making it our biggest market to date. You’ll find a list of stallholders, along with further information, at http://ow.ly/DQ4d30gt0oy.
The admission fee will be £5 to cover entry to the Hall (usually £14.50) and parking will operate on a one-in-one-out basis, so we recommend that visitors use public transport wherever possible.
The Origins of Christmas with Dr Patrick Harding
3rd December 2017
“From puddings to pantomime, carols to cards, trees to turkeys – everything you need to know about Christmas.”
Join broadcaster, author and teacher Dr Patrick Harding for mince pies, mulled wine and a fascinating talk about the origins of Christmas. The evening will begin with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie at 5.30pm by the Banqueting Hall fire, with the talk commencing at 6pm.
4th December 2017 – 18th December 2017 (Selected Dates Only)
Our Candlelight Tours are one of the most popular events of the year at Haddon Hall, and for good reason.
Be guided by nothing but the flickering flames of candles and fires as you explore Haddon at its most enchanting – dressed in all of its splendour for the festive season during the beautiful twilight hours.
The theme of this year’s Christmas opening explores the meaning behind some of our favourite carols, and Lord and Lady Edward Manners have put together a musical programme to match.
Your festive visit to Haddon is sure to filled with the beautiful sound of carols new and old, as a vast range of musicians perform on almost every day of December. Find a full itinerary at http://ow.ly/RR2Q30gt3zz.
Performances will take place in the Banqueting Hall at 12PM and 2PM each day, and are included in the general admission price.
We would be delighted to welcome you to Haddon Hall this Christmas time.
“It was three storeys high, of proportions not vast, though considerable: a gentleman's manor-house”
Turbulent romance, mystery and moral growth are what await Jane Eyre at Thornfield Hall, the fictitious home of Mr Rochester and infamous setting of Charlotte Brontë’s classic tale.
It is well-known that the Haddon Estate has starred as Thornfield in multiple adaptations of the novel, with numerous appearances in film, television and theatrical productions. The most recent of these appearances was earlier this year, when audience members were invited to step inside the world of Jane Eyre in our very own promenade performances, commissioned by Lord and Lady Manners and written by local storyteller, Gillian Shimwell.
Thornfield Hall plays host to much of the action in the novel, from unexplained attacks to harrowing secrets, forbidden love to unexpected reunions. Brontë describes the Hall in-depth through the voice of Jane and, by doing so, brings Thornfield to life as more than the setting of the novel.
But what is it about the Haddon Estate that has so strongly attracted those developing Jane Eyre for stage and screen? We explored Jane’s depictions of Thornfield to find similarities in Haddon Hall and determine how exactly it captures its essence so authentically.
"Is there a place in this neighbourhood called Thornfield?" I asked of the waiter who answered the summons.
"Thornfield? I don't know, ma'am; I'll inquire at the bar."
How Haddon Hall relates to this early mention of Thornfield may not be immediately obvious, but here’s what we noticed when we read between the lines. Just as the waiter is unaware of Thornfield Hall’s existence in the novel, the following quotes from recent visitors to Haddon Hall demonstrate a similar lack of knowledge about a treasure so close to home:
Our interpretation is that, through their respective acknowledgements above, Haddon and Thornfield are both depicted as “hidden gems”, well-kept secrets of the countryside that are shrouded from immediate view and cloaked in mystery for those who have not visited.
“To be sure it is pleasant at any time; for Thornfield is a fine old hall, rather neglected of late years perhaps, but still it is a respectable place”
This account of Thornfield from Mrs Fairfax is one of the first the reader receives in the novel, and can be applied to Haddon Hall in multiple ways.
Firstly, with springtime splendour in the gardens, autumnal atmosphere and winter wonderlands, we believe that Haddon truly is “pleasant at any time”, even if we are slightly biased….
Furthermore, although the Hall is far from “neglected” now, it did lay dormant for over two hundred years between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, before being restored in the 1920s. It is partly for this reason that Haddon remains largely as it was in the 16th century – “a fine old hall” and “respectable place” for everyone to experience and enjoy.
“Farther off were hills: not so lofty as those round Lowood, nor so craggy, nor so like barriers of separation from the living world; but yet quiet and lonely hills enough, and seeming to embrace Thornfield with a seclusion I had not expected”
If you have ever visited Haddon Hall and looked out at the view from our terraced gardens, you should be able to draw your own comparisons from this quote. You will have seen the rolling Peak District hills which encompass the Haddon Estate and, without separating it from the outside world, mirror the seclusion and embrace of nature which Jane describes at Thornfield Hall.
“I went apart into the orchard. No nook in the grounds more sheltered and more Eden-like; it was full of trees, it bloomed with flowers: a very high wall shut it out from the court, on one side; on the other, a beech avenue screened it from the lawn.”
While Haddon Hall does have its own private orchard, it was actually our Elizabethan terraced gardens which this passage brought to mind. Revitalised over recent years by renowned garden designer Arne Maynard, the Haddon gardens showcase topiary trees, medicinal plants and stunning floral arrangements. In fact, the Bowling Green terrace is characterised by popular plants from 400 years ago, such as Germander, Lavender and Rosemary, which carry the rich heritage of the Hall from the inside, out.
With high stone walls and a cushion of nature surrounding them, the gardens of Haddon Hall induce a feeling of sanctuary and solitude akin to that of the orchard in Jane Eyre.
“All these relics gave...Thornfield Hall the aspect of a home of the past: a shrine to memory.”
Although this impression appears relatively early on in the novel, we’ve saved it for last, as we believe that it encapsulates a quality which is central to Haddon Hall’s ambience, more so than any other passage we came across. To this day, Haddon Hall is largely unchanged and remains, on the most part, as it was hundreds of years ago, providing a unique view of early English life and history, so much so that simply walking into the lower courtyard can feel like taking a step back in time. We believe that it is this almost magical sense of time gone by which gives the manor house its distinctive character, and makes it a true place of historic importance and inspiration.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our “study” and would love to hear your own interpretations. We look forward to welcoming you in the future and will leave you with one final quote about Thornfield – one that we hope may replicate your own sentiments upon leaving the Haddon Estate…
“I grieve to leave Thornfield: I love Thornfield - I love it”
The Hall is not only a “home of the past”, but, thanks to incredible ongoing restoration work, a home of the present and future as well. If you’d like to find out more about the restoration and conservation of Haddon Hall, visit our website or email email@example.com to enquire about our specialised restoration tours.
View our full list of film and television credits here.
We love to showcase unique work at Haddon Hall, and our upcoming exhibition will be no exception.
Between August and September, the rooms of Haddon will play host to the inventive, captivating sculptures of artist Nik Ramage, in an innovative exhibition entitled ‘Shadows And Whispers’. Visitors are invited to seek out and interact with the mechanical creations, which will be scattered throughout the halls, some in plain sight and some disguised by their surroundings.
We caught up with Nik ahead of the exhibition to learn more about his inventions and the inspiration behind them.
How long have you been creating mechanical sculpture? “About 25 years.”
What can visitors expect from the exhibition? “There are 39 mechanical sculptures and contraptions spread around Haddon, some in clusters, other by themselves. Some will be obvious and some more hidden. Some of the machines need the visitors to interact with them by turning a handle or pushing them along.”
What was your inspiration? “Haddon Hall is an inspiring place. The rooms are full of atmosphere, ideas and layers of change. We have tried to position the sculptures, so the there is a conversation between my work and Haddon’s wonderful interiors. My work is inspired by found materials and found ideas (scraps from conversation, sights, oddities from life in general).”
Why ‘Shadows and Whispers’? “I wanted to reflect what is not there and the harder-to-discern. The sub-text, not the main narrative.When something or someone is absent, they are still manifest in other ways, not least as an idea.”
Do you have a favourite sculpture from the exhibition? “I was pleased with how ‘Shoe Shuffle’ worked out, it’s got a pleasing economy to it.”
How can people share their experience and thoughts with you? “If they use social media, I’d love to see photos and comments on Instagram and Twitter, using my username @nikramage and the hashtag #ShadowsAndWhispers. Or they can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The Shadows And Whispers exhibition will take place from 1st August – 30th September and will be included in general admission to the hall.