Category Archive: Arts

  1. The Music of Sergei Podobedov

    Leave a Comment

    Russian born pianist Sergei Podobedov made his orchestral debt at the age of 12 performing Chopin’s 2nd Piano Concerto.

    A graduate of the Moscow Central School of Music, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Royal College of Music,Sergei was the first recipient of a Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother Scholarship at the Royal College of Music and the youngest winner of the Edward Boyle Award in London.

    “a magnificent pianist who possesses outstanding virtuosic skills combined with true musicality and a refined sense of style.” – Gennady Rozhdestvensky

    We are delighted to be welcoming Sergei to Haddon Hall on Sunday 2nd June for two exclusive recitals, performing a mixed programme from the Renaissance, Baroque and classical repertoire. Performances will take place at 11:30am – 1pm and 2pm – 3:30pm, and are included in your general admission ticket.

    Learn more about Sergei Podobedov on his official website, which showcases recordings, videos and photos, or buy advance tickets to Haddon Hall here.

  2. de Mowbray’s Musicke: Bringing Tudor History To Life

    Leave a Comment

    Visiting Haddon may feel like stepping back in time whenever you come, but the historical atmosphere of the Hall will be enhanced this bank holiday by unique performances from de Mowbray’s Musicke.

    The group pride themselves on the historical accuracy of the music, instruments and costumes presented in their performances, aiming to authentically represent musicians who would have played in a rural Tudor (or Medieval) court.

    We caught up with the group before their recitals on Monday 28th May to find out more about the inspiration behind their style, what we can expect and what they’re looking forward to the most about performing at Haddon Hall:


    Haddon Hall: Who are de Mowbray’s Musicke? 

    de Mowbray’s Musicke: We are a costumed band who play music, sing songs and showcase dances from the Tudor period, as well as from the earlier 15th century when required. We play a wide range of instruments from the period, which have been faithfully made according to records of the time. We’ve been playing together since 2011, although there have been some changes in personnel in that time.


    HH: What do you think are the main differences between the historical instruments you use and more modern ones? 

    dMM: The main differences between our instruments and modern ones are in the tuning of the instruments and their reliability. Modern instruments are more complex – for example, having keys to get chromatic notes – and often play across a wider range of notes. Our crumhorns, for instance, only play across 9 notes.

    Because there was no electric amplification at the time, instruments needed to be loud! Across the Tudor period we see shawms becoming confined to outdoor music, along with bagpipes and crumhorns remaining in fashion, but going out of favour by 1600. We also saw the ‘broken consort’ of instruments becoming the favoured means of playing indoor music rather than the family of instruments of the same type, but in different pitches – eg recorders, shawms.

    Instruments were made of the materials available at the time, and this mostly meant wood, leather, gut and metal. There was no plastic!


    HH: What was the significance of music in Tudor times? 

    dMM: Music was a very important element of Tudor life at court and in other fine houses. It was also a feature of life outside the manor’s walls.

    Young men and women at court were taught to play music, sing and dance – at this period we were known as ’the dancing English’! Without music, there could be no dancing or singing. Travelling musicians worked at court, often also teaching dances.

    We tend to think that music forms a backdrop to modern life, but it would also have been a regular feature of 16th-century life, marking such daily occurrences as the evening curfew.


    HH: How do you make the music you play as authentic as possible? 

    dMM: We work hard to ensure that the instruments we play are representative of the period we represent. We play instruments which have been faithfully made according to records – pictures, books, carvings – of the time. Many of our instruments are made in England.

    The way we play them is also close to the sound that would have been heard at the time, in the harmonies and combinations of instruments. Our costumes and singing similarly reflect the accuracy of our instruments, music and dances.


    HH: You also perform and teach period dances. What can your audience expect from these demonstrations?

    dMM: We showcase dances which were danced at English manors and halls in the 16th century. The dances may also have been danced away from these centres, but our records are from the higher echelons of society.

    We work hard to be historically well-informed in our dances, using techniques of the period – but not of later times. There are 3 main types of dance: the stately pavans and almains, combined with the energetic couple dances such as galliards; the French branles; and the newly arriving English country dances. We can show all 3 types. We will be showing a galliard and a pavan in our show at Haddon Hall.

    One of our specialities is providing the music and teaching at an event for a group of people, such as you might get at a folk dance. We can also provide all the entertainment for Revels and Banquets.


    HH: What about performing at Haddon Hall are you particularly looking forward to? 

    dMM: We like playing at venues which would have had music, song and dance in the 16th century. We also like playing in houses which are more than empty shells. Haddon Hall is a fine house with many important features of the period we represent. We’re very excited about playing in such a prestigious venue. It is especially significant since we are based in the Midlands and the North.

    We enjoy talking to people about what we do, our instruments – how they are made and how they work – and other features of life in 16th century England. We expect to do this at Haddon Hall since we will be on show from 11am to 3.30pm, outside the times of our concerts at noon and 2pm.


    Performances from de Mowbray’s Musicke will take place at 12pm and 2pm on Monday 28th May and are included in your ticket price, alongside free archery and guided tours of the Hall throughout the day.

    Book advance tickets online, or buy on the gate if you prefer. View our full 2018 music schedule here.


    Photos courtesy of de Mowbray’s Musicke.

  3. Haddon Highlights 2017

    Leave a Comment

    With our Christmas celebrations over, we bid farewell to another year and welcome 2018, but we couldn’t quite say goodbye without looking back on the many highlights of 2017.

    From our Wedding Fair in April to the festive season, which brought our favourite carols to life, join us in remembering some of our most special events of the year.

    Wedding Fair

    A day that dreams were made of. Our wedding fair took place on April 2nd 2017, with our Elizabethan Long Gallery and Tudor Parlour set up as they would be for a big day.

    Singers and performers serenaded guests as they explored stalls from our favourite wedding merchants, showcasing exquisite floral arrangements, beautiful cakes and bespoke dresses.

    Wedding Brochure

    Jane Eyre

    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.


    Artisan Markets

    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.

  4. The Ultimate Guide To Christmas On The Haddon Estate

    Leave a Comment

    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

    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.

    Find out more about Patrick Harding on his website, or book tickets for the event online at


    Candlelight Tours

    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.

    Some tours have sold out already, but you can explore available dates and times at


    Christmas Carols

    1st December 2017 – 18th December 2017

    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

    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.

    Book Online

  5. “A Gentleman’s Manor House” – Why Haddon Makes The Perfect Thornfield Hall

    Leave a Comment
    “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:

    “One of the hidden jewels of the Peak District in my opinion.”

    “Lived in North Derbyshire for 29 years and yesterday was the first time visiting Haddon Hall.  It is truly beautiful.”

    “You know the saying about never seeing things that are on your doorstep? Well, I first lived in the area in the 1980’s and never went to Haddon Hall… Wow, it was really fascinating… Why did I not go before?”

    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 to enquire about our specialised restoration tours.

    View our full list of film and television credits here

  6. Coming Up On The Haddon Estate

    Leave a Comment

     Your ultimate guide to things to do on the Haddon Estate this summer.

    We’ve already had a taste of summer in the Peak District and are really looking forward to what else the season brings. From musical recitals to games in the garden, estate adventures to mechanical sculptures, you can be sure that our upcoming events schedule will cater for a vast range of interests.

    Please note that Haddon Hall will be closed to the public on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th August this year. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


    Shadows and Whispers – An Exhibition by Artist, Nik Ramage

    Between 1st August and 30th September, ingenious sculptures will be scattered across the halls of Haddon in this unique exhibition from artist Nik Ramage. Visitors will get the opportunity to interact with the mechanical creations, which were inspired by the shadows and whispers of Haddon Hall’s rich history.

    You can find out more about the exhibition in this interview with Nik, and share your experience by using #ShadowsAndWhispers and #HaddonHall on social media.


    Family Fete

    This two day festival will provide fun for all the family, with a whole host of exciting activities taking place in the hall and gardens. Over the August bank holiday weekend, children and adults alike can enjoy music, face-painting, archery, crafts, storytelling and much more at our family fete, with free entry for children with a paying adult.

    Register your interest on Facebook here.


     Music Performances

    We adore hearing the sound of music floating through the halls of Haddon, and are thrilled to be hosting a series of musical recitals throughout the summer.

    “It’s such a pleasure to hear music being performed around Haddon’s grounds. We hope these occasional performances with some of the region’s best musicians will bring much enjoyment to visitors this year and set Haddon on the map for music.” – Lady Edward

    Performances are included in the general admission price and will take place outside in the courtyards and gardens of Haddon if the weather is fine, or from within the incredible setting of the Long Gallery if rain is forecast. Recitals coming up during the summer include:

    • Richard Haslam (Classical Guitar) – Sunday 6th and 13th August
    • Laura-Rose Gee (Harpist) – Sunday 27th and Monday 28th August
    • Bell Ringers in the Chapel – Saturday 9th September


    However you like to spend your time, we are confident that you’ll find something for everyone at Haddon Hall this summer. We look forward to welcoming you over the next few months.

    Explore our full list of special events here, or book your tickets online.

  7. The ‘Shadows And Whispers’ of Haddon Hall

    Leave a Comment

    Show Sculpture - Shadows and Whispers - Haddon Hall

    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”


    The Shadows And Whispers exhibition will take place from 1st August – 30th September and will be included in general admission to the hall.

    Find out more

    Book your tickets