The hall, some parts of which are 800 years old, is still used as a family home in the spectacular Peak District in Derbyshire. Haddon Hall is situated in Bakewell and it is currently the home of Lord Edward Manners and his family. Part of the house dates back to the 12th century and it has been described as one of the best examples of its period style in England.
The National Trust chairman Simon Jenkins, who is also an author and journalist, described the hall as: “the most perfect house to survive from the middle ages.” Haddon Hall sits in the heart of the picturesque Peak District National Park.
The hall as it stands today dates from the 12th to the early part of the 17th Century. It fell dormant and uninhabited for over 200 years from 1700 until the 1920s when the 9th Duke and Duchess of Rutland restored the house and gardens. The Duke created the walled topiary garden with clipped heraldic devices of the boar’s head and the peacock, emblematic of the Vernon and Manners families.
Haddon Hall stands on sloping ground and is built around two courtyards; the north east courtyard contains the Eagle Tower and the Long Gallery, the lower south west courtyard houses the Chapel, with the Great Hall, lying between the two.
Many of the rooms in the house can only be reached from outside or by passing through other rooms; this makes the house an inconvenience to live in when judged by the standards of later designs.
The hall is open seasonally to visitors but times and months vary. There is limited access for wheelchair users due to the age of the building.
FILMS, TV & BOOKS
It is much sort after by film makers and has been the setting for many famous films including: ‘Jane Eyre,’ ‘Elizabeth,’ ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘The Other Boleyn Girl.’
‘The Princess Bride,’ was filmed there with the hall becoming Humperdinck’s Castle. It is recognised as one of the most romantic houses in Britain.
A 1902 historical novel, called ‘Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall’ written by Charles Major, an American lawyer and novelist, tells the story of Dorothy Vernon, the daughter of Sir George Vernon, the owner of Haddon Hall. Dorothy married John Manners, the second son of Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland.
Sir George was said to have disapproved of the marriage although it is not known why but it was possible it was because the Manners were Protestants and the Vernon’s were Catholics. According to legend, 18-year-old Dorothy had eloped with Manners.
Not everything associated with the hall is romantic and beautiful. It is said that the hall is haunted by many a ghost and a legend says that Prince Arthur the eldest son of King Henry VII was visiting the hall in 1501 and while relaxing by the River Wye in the grounds he fell asleep and dreamed about a woman in white with a grotesque face warning him of bad luck that would come his way.
That evening, the Prince received news that his wife to be Catharine of Aragon had arrived in England and they were to marry without delay. Four months after the wedding the Prince was dead from a sudden illness. Legend believes the woman predicted Arthur’s fate as she ranted her words of poetic rhyme.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Hopping Lane, Youlgreave, Bakewell
Derbyshire, England, DE45 1NA
+44 (0)1629 636 555
- Address: Haddon Road, Bakewell, Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom, DE45 1LA
- GPS: 53.2012776,-1.662910600000032
- Phone: 0044 (0)1629 812 855
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: DE45 1LA
- Entrance Fees: Charges Apply
- Disabled Access: Fair (ground floor only)
- Visibility from Road: None
- Image Credits: Kevin Tracey