Haddon in a hurry #atozchallenge

A quick post about Haddon Hall in Derbyshire.

Built in 1200s as a fortified Medieval manor and then lived in as a home until early 1600s when it was left dormant for 200 years. Consequently, it skipped over the Georgian period and remains a largely Medieval building.

In 1920s the Duke and Duchess of Rutland began to restore the house and gardens.

That’s it?

No, there has to be more to a house than a couple of lines.  Try again.

The Vernons acquired the manor of Haddon by a 12th Century marriage between Richard de Vernon and Alice Avenell.  Four centuries later, Dorothy Vernon married John Manners, the second son of the 1st Earl of Rutland. The story goes that John’s father forbade the marriage. During a ball, hidden by the crowd, Dorothy picked up the skirts of her ball gown, slipped into the garden and over a bridge to where John waited for her, and the couple rode off into the sunset and married. Possibly a romantic twist on the tale, because John did inherit the estate two years later, so his father couldn’t be that miffed.  John’s heir became the Duke of Rutland but chose to live in Belvoir Castle. Haddon Hall lay unaltered for two centuries and keeps its Jacobean appearance.

The 9th Duke began a long period of restoration to the house which included the banqueting hall, kitchens and parlour date, which date from 1370s, and the chapel, which was completed in 1427, and then covered in whitewash during the reformation to hide the colourful frescoes. Now they are visible once again, although not as colourful.

Haddon Hall has a strong connection to literature and arts, including a light opera Haddon Hall, by Authur Sullivan, a novel titled Dorothy of Haddon Hall by Charles Major (1902) and three versions of Jane Eyre, the last being in 2011, have been filmed at Haddon.

What stands out for me is the restoration work. Instead of altering the house, as the Georgian or Victorian’s often did by stamping their fashions on a building (and this is how we see these old houses because time seems to have frozen them in these periods), Haddon has been kept as a largely Medieval property. (No doubt with modern conveniences on the inside.)  Whether it is the stone work, the glazing or mortar, the restoration hasn’t over-reached itself.

The restoration and repairs at Haddon Hall still continue nearly one hundred years after they had started. So nobody is hurrying at Haddon.

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  1. Looks like a beautiful place. Love the stone work and the general feeling of evolution in the building.
    Tasha’s Thinkings – Movie Monsters

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love these stone buildings, but they must have been freezing in the winter.


  2. If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well, perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indubitably!


  3. This one called to me and then I see that three of the last Jane Eyre movies were filmed here and I know why 🙂


  4. It’s beautiful! I especially love the last picture. Here in the States, there’s a place called Winchester Mystery House. Sarah Winchester had work being done 24/7 for decades because a spiritualist told her if construction stopped the ghosts of the people killed by the Winchester rifles would kill her. We visited there last year. It was really interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a spooky story. I don’t think visiting a spiritualist is a good idea!


  5. The annual performance of The Christmas Revels in Cambridge, MA is often set in “Haddon Hall” so I feel a strong connection to the real Haddon Hall even though I’ve never been there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know there is a Haddon Hall in Cambridge – I’ve only visited once when I came to Boston, and a long time ago – I’ll go look it up. I have visited Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, but too was a long time ago.


      1. It’s not a real Haddon Hall, it’s a stage set based on Haddon Hall.


      2. Probably not as sturdy then!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Is a private family living there now? It seems like it would be so un-cozy.


    1. It remains part of the Duke of Rutland estate. More cosy on the inside.


  7. Wow, I’d love to see a less-restored home — that floor map is really awesome! Loved the “try again” bit too. Sometimes AtoZ posts turn out differently than you plan, eh? 🙂
    Jamie Lyn Weigt | Theme: Odds and Ends Dragons | Writing Dragons


    1. Trying to get the balance between writing too much or too little in a post is something of an art I’m still learning.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the images, maps and schemas are underutilized! Love them. And the wall decorations, amazing! I’ve been in Derbyshire, but missed this home.


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