As most of you know, Myles and I recently got our National Trust memberships to enable us to visit lots of different historical places around the U.K. without paying any more than the £34.50 each per year.
Last weekend, with the weather being so glorious, we decided to visit Kedleston Hall – a beautiful English country manor close to Derby. Neither of us had been before, but we decided it was a great day to explore with a picnic!
When we arrived, we immediately went on a walk around the house itself. The interior is absolutely stunning, each room filled with gorgeous designs and small quirks that prove the Roman and Indian design was a big influence.
The hall is open to the public, and we were welcomed by the National Trust staff in Caesar’s Hall and guided round the house by boards and arrows. Each room is so different from the last, it’s quite clear that this house was intended as a showpiece rather than a comfortable family home. There are hundreds of the finest paintings, sculptures and furniture on show. Even down in the museum, where Lord Curzon’s ‘Eastern Collection’ is kept. It features a mix of treasures he collected from tiny intricate ivory carvings to grand samurai swords, there are hundreds of artifacts to be seen from his travels to India, Tibet, China and Nepal.
My favourite room had to be the Marble Hall, a magnificent roman influenced design that suggests the open courtyard of a Roman villa. There are twenty columns surrounding the room with niches in the walls containing classic roman style statues. Above each statue there are panels with detailed paintings within them.
The floor is made from Italian marble, designed by Matthew Paine, whose original designs for this room intended for it to be lit by conventional windows at the northern end. However, it was decided that the Roman theme had to be continued throughout, so they lit the whole room from the roof through these gorgeous, innovative glass skylights.
After exploring the Hall and church, we decided to go for a walk around the park land and towards the bridge and then back around the pleasure gardens. The bridge is just as stunning as the hall and overlooks a golf course (Myles was impressed) so we decided to sit for a picnic here.
Overall, we found that Kedleston Hall was a lovely place for walking and a nice example of National Trust country house hospitality and display. It’s close to home, standing proud just outside of the city of Derby and easy to find your way there. So strange to think it’s practically within a city!
I did prefer our trip to Calke Abbey, as the walled gardens are stunning and there seems to be a lot more to see and do – especially for families with younger children. I’m already looking forward to our next National Trust trip!
Have you visited Kedleston Hall before? What did you think?
See you in the next post!
Love Charlie x