Haddon Hall 2020: Why Visit

As we approach the start of a new season at Haddon Hall, we felt it timely to reflect on all the wonderful reasons to visit this truly magnificent historic house, which was described by Simon Jenkins as ‘The most perfect house to survive from the Middle Ages’.

Whether you’re fascinated by its history, love wandering through the beautiful gardens or enjoy browsing through an array of marvellous artisanal craft at our Mercatum, there is something for everyone to experience and enjoy at Haddon.


Over 900 years old, Haddon Hall is one of the most important historic houses in the Western World. It has been owned by one family for the duration of its existence – with the Manners family still living there today.

When left under lock and key for two centuries, with its furniture and interiors untouched and intact, it earned the name ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ This period of hibernation, from the reign of Queen Anne to the late 19th Century, has created a unique opportunity for visitors to step back in time and see one of the most important Early English Furniture collections in England.


There is no specific order in which you need to explore Haddon – you can choose whichever route appeals to you. Perhaps you’ve seen one of the many films Haddon has starred in and wish to walk the length of the wonderful Long Gallery as Margot Robbie did in Mary, Queen of Scots. Or you may be interested in spending time in one of the oldest medieval kitchens in England, complete with original features such as the stock pot, chopping boards and baking ovens. Some prefer to start their Haddon experience in the family’s private chapel, its’ walls still adorned by its original magnificent fresco seccoes from the 14th Century.

The choice is yours. Take one of our maps and head in whichever direction suits you best.


A visit to Haddon wouldn’t be complete without a walk around our Elizabethan Walled Gardens. Designed as a series of cascading terraces, the gardens were created by Elizabethan architect Robert Smythson (who also designed The Long Gallery). When the 9th Duke and Duchess of Rutland began their restoration of the hall in the 1920s, they also took it upon themselves to return the gardens to their former glory. More recently, the garden was replanted by Chelsea Gold winning Arne Maynard, who was commissioned to redesign the Fountain and Bowling Green Terraces, creating a deeply romantic garden experience that captures the spirit of the hall.

Take some time to marvel at the roses, wander through the gardens’ different terraces or if you’d like to know more, enjoy a tour with head gardener Lindsay Berry.


Throughout the season, Haddon comes alive through a series of events and exhibitions, and we start this year with Mercatum on Friday, March 27th – March 29th. With artisan craft deeply embedded within the hall and its history, Mercatum provides Haddon with the opportunity to curate the very finest artisans from the local region and beyond, with visitors to the hall treated to a real treasure trove of delights, ranging from paintings to jewellery and floral arrangements to a sumptuous selection of food and drink producers and more.

There is fun for all the family, with live music and a children’s craft tent. Archery will be set up in the Chapel Fields, where you can challenge your siblings, before sitting back with a slice of cake and lovely cup of tea/glass of Prosecco.

Following Mercatum, Haddon officially opens its doors on Monday, March 30th, with an Easter Exhibition which will run until April 30th. The exhibition uncovers the origins of Easter traditions from pre-Christian beliefs and folklore to biblical accounts of Christ’s death and Resurrection.

During the Easter  weekend, Haddon will be awash with family friendly activity, with an appearance from the Easter bunny, egg and spoon races, Easter bonnet competitions and much more.

No matter how many times you visit Haddon, there is always something new to discover on your next visit. We look forward to welcoming you this season and hope you enjoy exploring the hall and gardens to your heart’s content!