Samuel Rayner’s Haddon Hall – Revisited

Visitors to Haddon in July and August will experience a fascinating exhibition that draws a significant correlation between 21st century photographers and the work of 19th century artists and lithographs.

The exhibition, titled ‘Samuel Rayner’s Haddon Hall – Revisited’ looks at the work of Samuel Rayner, artist and author, who in the early part of the 19th century studied intricately the architectural details of Haddon Hall, near Bakewell.

Derbyshire photographers Ian Daisley and Chris Gilbert, both from the Peak District Photography Gallery, approached Lord and Lady Edward Manners of Haddon Hall about the idea of an exhibition. Chris explains the inspiration behind the work: “Rayner was living and working in the Peak District when he created ‘The Antiquities of Haddon Hall’ and we felt that it was important to reconnect with such an important body of work, bringing Rayner and his family’s work back into the public eye and raising awareness.” Chris continues:   “Rayner was an exquisite draughtsman. We aim to show through modern day photography just how accurate his depiction of Haddon Hall was.

Visitors to Haddon this summer will see that there is an extraordinary correspondence between Rayner’s hand and eye rendition of the architecture and that achieved by us today, with the camera. The artistic context is the same even if the tools the artists are using are radically different. ” The photographers – five in total – have spent the last few months visiting Haddon and recreating scenes from Rayner’s drawings from the 19th century, setting themselves the challenge of trying to match the sketches as accurately as possible. Rayner’s drawings not only offer incredible detail as to the architecture and immediate landscape of Haddon Hall, but his writings ‘The Antiquities of Haddon Hall’ gave the social context of Haddon, which – at the time of writing in the mid-1830s – was when Haddon Hall was just becoming a popular tourist destination which it remains today, almost 200 years later.

The exhibition will display around 20 of the 35 sketches Rayner produced of Haddon along with modern photographs of the same sites, and will be on view to the visitors to Haddon Hall through July and August. A preview of the exhibition takes place on 8th July.

Lady Edward Manners comments: “We owe a lot to Samuel Rayner and his work capturing Haddon in the middle of the 19th century. His sketches are not only of the roofs, rooms and corners of the hall, but are also beautifully detailed diagrams of Haddon’s incredible and ancient architecture – like the Tudor panelling – which help shape how we work with the house and architecture today. Rayner’s book sheds light on how Haddon functioned at the time of writing, as it existed in its semi-dormant state. Samuel Rayner was undoubtedly a dedicated artist and historian and we know visitors will love this exhibition, comparing his work to the modern shots by Ian and Chris and their colleagues.”


Join us for the launch evening on Wednesday 8th July, tickets are £15 per person and can be booked here. The Rayner exhibition runs at Haddon Hall throughout July and August, from July 11th.  Normal admission rates apply- book online for advance prices.