Why Visit?

‘The most perfect house to survive from the Middle Ages’ Simon Jenkins

Haddon is 900 years old, has been owned by one family for the duration of its existence and is believed to be one of the most important historic houses in the Western World.

Haddon is held in such esteem, as it was left under lock and key by its owners for more than 200 years from the reign of Queen Anne to the late 19th Century, resulting in its interiors, from the 14th Century to early Elizabethan period, being left untouched and for you to see.

It is the great survivor and there is nowhere else like it.

When you visit, you will step back in time.

‘Sleeping Beauty’

When the lock was turned on Haddon, its contents were left on the walls and on the floors. The dais table remained on its step in the Banqueting Hall, the tapestries on the walls, the fire dogs in the hearths, the pewter in the cupboards.

Over the ages, it became known as the ‘Sleeping Beauty’, a perfect name and reference for this fairy tale, castle-like home.

A home now returned to by its family after 300 years and a home that, because of its past and story, now houses the most important Early English Furniture collection in England and a nationally important collection of tapestries.

Explore

Unlike many other stately houses, there is no set route for you to walk on your visit to Haddon. Instead you are given a map and are free to explore.

You will find the oldest medieval kitchens in England, which retain all their original features, including the stock pot, chopping boards, baking ovens, work tops and butchery.

You will enter the family’s private chapel, which is still adorned by its original exquisite fresco seccoes from the fourteenth century on its walls.

You can explore the medieval chambers and you will find the 110ft Long Gallery, reputed to be in the most beautiful room in England, with its glorious, sparkling, bombée glass windows and spectacular paneling designed by the celebrated Elizabethan, Robert Smythson.

Step outside…

…And you will enter Haddon’s Elizabethan Walled Gardens, an equally rare survival of the past.

Robert Smythson designed these when he designed the Long Gallery, and they sit intimately with the architecture of the hall.

Renowned for their beauty, structure and views, the gardens are arranged in a series of terraces, retained by enormous buttresses that cascade down to the River Wye with seemingly endless views over the ancient parkland and Peak District National Park beyond.

Recently replanted by Chelsea Gold winning Arne Maynard, the gardens of Haddon are famous for their roses and are profoundly romantic, with an ancient feel to them.

Enjoy: strolling the terraces; the colour filled herbaceous borders; the knot garden that frames jewel plants of the Elizabethan age; and the wild flower meadow borders carefully punctuated by topiary of Hornbeam and Beech.  Or why not find a quiet corner, sit and relax and while-away the time.

Experience a Sense of Place

As Haddon survived, so did much of its original medieval parkland. Dated to the 14th century and now grade 1 listed, this land is as it was 700 years ago. It has retained all its characteristics and landscape features from its days as a deer park, designed for the pursuit of hunting.

This summer, for the first time, we shall be offering escorted tours of Haddon’s ancient park, allowing our visitors the chance to see Haddon within its original setting and experience something deeply unusual and new, a return to the past accessed through undisturbed nature.

Fun

With a host of events, a museum, musical performances, artisan markets, a gift shop, guided tours, restaurant and a café serving Traditional English Teas, Haddon makes for an intriguing and magical day out for all the family and for all generations to enjoy.

Visit Haddon and you will be delighted and surprised.

This undiscovered gem of an ancient home and hall awaits you and we hope to welcome you soon.

 

 

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