There are some amazing historical sites for you to see in Derbyshire and The National Trust is a good place to start!
With peeling paintwork and overgrown courtyards, Calke Abbey tells the story of the dramatic decline of a country house estate. The house and stables are little restored, with many abandoned areas vividly portraying a period in the 20th century when numerous country houses did not survive to tell their story.
Discover the tales of an eccentric family who amassed a vast collection of hidden treasures. Visit the beautiful, yet faded walled gardens and explore the orangery, auricula theatre and the kitchen gardens. Escape into the ancient and fragile habitats of Calke Park and its National Nature Reserve.
• See the stunning state silk bed, erected for the first time in 1985 after lying undiscovered since the 18th century
• Spot the ‘Old Man of Calke’, a 1,200 year old oak tree
• Enter a world of little light and follow the twists and turns of the brew house tunnel
• Visit the red and fallow deer in their restored deer enclosure
• Stroll through the pleasure grounds to the flower garden with its unique auricula theatre and creep into the gardeners’ tunnel
An Elizabethan masterpiece
Welcome to Hardwick, whose stunning houses and beautiful landscape have been created by a cast of thousands.
It was the formidable ‘Bess of Hardwick’ who first created Hardwick in the 1500’s. In the centuries since then her descendants, farmers, gardeners, builders, decorators, embroiderers and craftsmen of all kinds have contributed and made Hardwick their creation. We’d like you to explore and enjoy Hardwick and in the process discover the lives, loves and adventures of the creators of Hardwick.
This year take a closer look at the life of Duchess Evelyn, the ‘Last Lady of Hardwick’. Her newly restored bedroom completes the family rooms on the middle floor. You can discover more about the life of a duchess, her pioneering conservation work and the dramatic changes she made to the east view landscape, in the East Court Rose Garden.
Find out about Arbella Stuart, the granddaughter of ‘Bess of Hardwick’ and niece to Mary Queen of Scots. She had a strong royal lineage and a realistic claim to the throne after Elizabeth I died. Educated and raised as a princess, but whose desperate attempts to seek freedom ended with her being imprisoned in the Tower of London. Discover about Arbella in the Hall and explore whether you think Hardwick was built as a palace fit for a queen or as a prison for a princess.
The Hardwick Estate is open every day, for countryside walks with picturesque views, woodland family play trails, locally sourced gifts in the shop and delicious seasonal menus in the restaurant.
Spectacular 18th-century mansion with Adam interiors and parkland
Take a trip back in time to the 1760s at this spectacular Neo-classical mansion framed by historic parkland.
Designed for lavish entertaining and displaying an extensive collection of paintings, sculpture and original furnishings, Kedleston is a stunning example of the work of architect Robert Adam.
The Curzon family have lived here since the 12th-century and continue to live at the Hall. Lord Curzon’s Eastern Museum is a treasure trove of fascinating objects acquired on his travels in Asia and while Viceroy of India (1899 to 1905).
The Hall was used as a key location for ‘The Duchess’, the Hollywood blockbuster starring Keira Knightley.
• The long and short walks, offering beautiful vistas of the Kedleston Hall Park Land.
• Locations where Keira Knightley starred in ‘The Duchess’.
• Sections of the neo-classical mansion inspired by famous Roman architecture.
The Old Manor
Norbury Manor, former seat of the Fitzherbert family, is just a short drive from Sudbury Hall and Kedleston Hall near Derby. The hall is a very rare example of a medieval hall built on the first floor, once forming part of the private apartments of the Fitzherbert family.
The later 17th century red brick farmhouse which was built in front of the hall is available as a holiday cottage. The only surviving part of the original early medieval hall offers a rare king post, Tudor door and 17th-century Flemish glass. Visitors can also find a beautifully maintained small garden space which includes a knot garden, as well as a short walk into the woodland, and path which leads down to the river. Please note that parking is limited and suitable for cars only.
Late 17th-century house with lavish interiors and the Museum of Childhood
Come and discover two contrasting experiences sitting side by side.
This year we’ve gone back to 1967 at Sudbury Hall to celebrate the Hall’s 50th anniversary with the National Trust. The historic country home of the Lords Vernon has been stripped right back to give an essence of what it looked like when it first came into the Trust’s care. Visitors to get closer to the amazing 17th-century craftsmanship than ever before and truly appreciate this amazing building. Admire exquisite plasterwork, wood carvings and classical story-based murals. Be amazed by the grandeur of the Great Staircase, Long Gallery and the captivating story which the house tells, brought to life by our knowledgeable volunteers and guides.
The Museum of Childhood is a delight for all ages with something for everyone. Watch your children discovering something new, or relive nostalgic memories by exploring the childhoods of times gone by, make stories, play with toys and share your childhood with others. You can be a chimney sweep, a scullion or a Victorian pupil, and be captivated by our archive film and interactive displays.
• Locations where the BBC’s adaptation of Pride & Prejudice was filmed, can you recognise where?
• The Church by the side of the house, restored for the 6th Lord Vernon by George Devey.
• The outdoor woodland play area, which is tucked out of view at the rear of the house.
Come and explore how the curious cogs and machinery of a fully operational watermill work.
Situated on the stunning Hardwick estate, the mill offers a vivid evocation of the workplace of a 19th-century miller. Our friendly volunteers are on hand to tell you more about Hardwick’s past and present millers and you can even buy bags of freshly milled Stainsby flour.
Not an historical hall but a place of outstanding natural beauty is:
The Peak District
Kinder, Edale and the Dark Peak, Derbyshire – Heather-clad moors of Kinder to the gritstone tors of Derwent Edge
Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak, Ashbourne, Derbyshire – White Peak Estate, including Ilam Park, Dovedale and Hamps and Manifold Valleys
Winster Market House, Winster, Derbyshire – The first property to be acquired by the National Trust in the Peak District
Eyam Hall and Craft Centre, Eyam, Derbyshire – The remarkable story of an enduring spirit
Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, near Sheffield, Derbyshire – Excellent walking country with ancient woods and tumbling streams
This is just touching the surface! There is so much to see and do in the peak district it’s definitely worth taking a look at the National Trust website to see get more information.