I have been looking back through my photos and thought I would step back in time to when we visited Haddon Hall, a year or so ago. It really is so unspoilt, mainly because no-one occupied it for any length of time for about 200 years following the Civil War. In consequence, much of the original furniture remains and the buildings haven't been "modernized".
Here is the approach to the castle, with the loveliest little cottage with topiary in the garden.
The stable block has now been changed to provide toilet facilities and an excellent cafe. I forgot to mention, that that's a wasps' nest inbetween the window uprights . . .
The entrance to the hall, which sets the scene for what you will find inside.
Inside the chapel: Fresco of St Christopher dating from the early 15th century when Richard Vernon VI commissioned them. During the Reformation these were plastered over and then whitewashed. They were not uncovered until the 9th Duke of Rutland had restoration work carried out at the hall during the early years of the 20th century.
The wonderful Reredos is made from Nottingham alabaster and dates from the 15th Century, although it was bought by the 9th Duke in 1933. Originally it contained 11 panels showing scenes from the Passion, but now only 9 are displayed.
A Golden Hop (I think!) growing up the wall prompted me to add one of these to my "wanted" list of garden plants.
Looking across the courtyard from the entrance to King John's Wall.
View of the High Table in the Banqueting Hall. The French tapestry shows the Royal Arms of England and it is said that it was presented to the Vernon family by Henry VIII.
The kitchens are totally unspoilt and date from the 14th century, with the Buttery, the Pantry and various other side rooms. I would love to go on one of the Tudor cookery courses they hold here.
House in the original Milk Larder are a fine collection of 'dole' cupboards. Houses such as Haddon would put one of these outside of the house filled with food and leftovers from the kitchen and for passing traders or Estate workers to make use of. That so many have survived to add to the collection is amazing, since they were outside in all weathers for many years. So now you know the meaning of the expression, "on the dole".
The huge lump of tree was a chopping block in the Butchery . . .
Just look at the step, quite worn away in the middle, from countless feet stepping onto it.
A view through the window into the private courtyard and buildings which aren't open to the public.
A bouquet of beautiful flowers from the gardens. Allium and Larkspur.
Looking up in the Banqueting Hall.
The far end of the Long Gallery.
The odd "hinge" on the bottom of the door is so that it will swing shut after being opened.
A close-up of the ancient chest at the end of the Long Gallery. It is an oak dowry or vestment chest dating from the 15th c. The arms of the Vernons and other related families decorate the front.
Another of the treasures of the house.
Another of the Dole cupboards.