Haddon Hall is one of the finest remaining examples of a medieval manor house. It sits on the River Wye in Bakewell, Derbyshire. It is one of the seats of the Duke of Rutland and is currently occupied by his brother, Lord Edward Manners and his family.
The hall dates back to the 11th century when it was held by William Peverel, an illegitimate son of William the Conqueror. The hall was forfeited to the crown in 1153 and was passed to the Avenell family. The hall then passed into the hands of the de Vernon family when Richard de Vernon married Alice Avenell in 1170.
Four centuries later, Dorothy Vernon, daughter and heiress of Sir George Vernon married John Manners. In a star-crossed lovers tale of romance, it is said that they eloped to be married as Dorothy’s father disapproved. She is said to have used the cover of a ball to slip out through the gardens, down the steps and across the bridge to where John was waiting for her.
There is a chapel dedicated to St Nicholas, which can be accessed from the lower courtyard. Its walls are adorned with striking images of skeletons and religious depictions. The historical features still evident within the chapel are fascinating and well worth a visit. The sombre tone of the chapel is only enhanced by the presence of a marble effigy to
One of the highlights for me, was the small museum located in a room just off the lower courtyard. The museum displays items found during renovations undertaken by the 9th Duke of Rutland. They include items such as a child’s shoe, keys and playing dice. For me, looking upon these items made the house less about bricks and mortar and more about the people who roamed its halls.
The house can only be described as breathtakingly beautiful and Haddon’s stunning surroundings coupled with the richness of its history provides an enchanting atmosphere. The Hall itself, holds so much magic for me but I mainly put that down to its appearance as Prince Humperdinck’s castle in the 1987 film The Princess Bride. (It’s one of my faves!)
So, if you are ever in Derbyshire, make sure you take the time to visit Haddon and experience the wealth of history the hall has to offer.
Contact details for Haddon Hall:
The Estate Office, Haddon Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1LA
T:01629 812 855 F: 01629 814 379 E: firstname.lastname@example.org