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Haddon Hall is the seat of the Duke of Rutland. It is often described as a picturesque and romantic fortified manor house. It is one of the best preserved medieval houses in the country and is also one of the most popular of the great houses of Derbyshire.
a The BBC adatptation of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, which was first aired in the autumn of 2006, used Haddon Hall as Thornfield, Mr Rochester's manor house. Part of the filming for Jane Eyre required Haddon Hall to be destroyed by fire. By utilising sophisticated pyrotechnic special effects, Haddon Hall was engulfed in 'flames' through the night during the filming of key 'Thornfield' sequences. Many locals made emergency calls to the Fire Brigade, who eventually had to position fire engines at the entrance of the Hall to allay fears that the stately home was being destroyed!
The BBC film crew spent 10 weeks at Haddon during the spring of 2006 year with the final filming of Jane Eyre taking place in May 2006.
More recently it was used in the 2011 film version starring Mia Wasikowska.
Haddon Hall was previously used for the 1996 Franco Zeffirelli version of Jane Eyre.
Haddon Hall was used for the 1998 film Elizabeth staring Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I.
Although it retains the simple lines of a great medieval manor house, it has a long and complicated architectural history. It is built exclusively of local materials; local stone and the native oak are found in the fabric of the building. There is no alien brick or marble used in its construction.
Despite the many towers and battlements, this is not a castle. Haddon Hall is primarily a residence. The earliest parts of the buildings date from the 13th century, a time when fortification was a prime consideration for buildings.
Special features of Haddon Hall include the 34 metres (110 feet) oak and walnut panelled 'long gallery', priceless tapestries, exquisite frescos, and 16th and 17th century furniture.
The gardens outside were originally laid out in the 1600s. They are notable for their resplendent rose gardens and six stone terraces.
The rich history of this house is helped by the fact that, since the 12th century, only two families have held it. The Vernon's held the house first. Sir George Vernon is probably the most well known. He was referred to as the 'King of the Peak' due to his lavish hospitality at Haddon Hall.
In 1558, his daughter, Dorothy Vernon eloped with Sir John Manners. Sir George did not approve of his daughter's marriage and it is thought that he did not extend his famous hospitality for the wedding celebrations.
When Sir George died in 1567, the estate (which included Haddon Hall) passed to Dorothy and her husband. From then onwards, the Manners have held the Hall. The current owners, the Dukes of Rutland are descended from the Manners.
There are monuments to Sir George and Dorothy in the All Saints Church in Bakewell.
From the 18th century the Hall began to deteriorate. It was not until the early 20th Century that work began to restore it to its former glory.
In the 1840s, the Duke of Rutland amply showed the power he could wield. The railway from Rowsley to Buxton was originally proposed to go through the Wye Valley, which is where Haddon Hall is situated. This route was approved by parliament in 1846. His strong opposition at this time almost caused the route to be changed to go through the Derwent Valley, which would have taken it through Chatsworth. However, the Derwent route would have bypassed Bakewell. The citizens of Bakewell wished to have a station and approached the Duke for help. His opposition to the Wye Valley route soon changed and he became a champion of the route through the Wye Valley. This new route was debated in the House of Lords, and the Duke successfully ensured that the railway would pass through the Wye Valley. Powerful to the end, he did impose certain terms for the railway as it passed over his property. It goes through an unnecessary cut and cover tunnel for 1,000 metres.
Haddon Hall and Gardens are open from 1st May to the end of September from 12 noon to 5pm with last admission at 4pm. It will open late,until 8pm, on the last Thursday of June, July and August.
2016 admission charges are £13.50 for adults, £13.00 for Concessions, £7.00 for children and £35.00 for a family ticket (2 adults, 3 children). There is also a Car Parking fee of £3 per car. Inside, there is a restaurant and gift shop. It is regretable that access to Haddon Hall and its garden is very limited for visitors with disabilities and wheel-chair users. It is recommended that you phone Haddon Hall on 01629 812855 to discuss before visiting.
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Well that's the legal stuff sorted.
Should you decline to comply with this warning, a leather winged demon of the night will soar from the deep malevolent caverns of the white peak into the shadowy moonlit sky and, with a thirst for blood on its salivating fangs, search the very threads of time for the throbbing of your heartbeat. Just thought you'd want to know that.