Medieval history lovers will feel at home in Haddon Hall, a well preserved fortified manor house in the heart of English countryside in the Peak District, and will be pleasantly surprised by the genuinely authentic atmosphere that the whole estate exudes.
In my book, a manor house THAT old (dating back to the 12th century) should be a museum with scores of tourists and schoolchildren marvelling at the authenticity of the structures and learning the intricacies of the history surrounding it.
Apparently, the property has been in the same hands for centuries now and has never been bought or sold.
Haddon Hall does not have that polished and slick look of a typical English stately home, but displays all the attributes of a structure that survived to the modern times with little help – one gets an impression that there aren’t any straight lines in the building: some walls are warped, the beams are slightly curved, the furniture well worn…
All you need to add is a few people dressed in medieval clothes and you’ll feel like you’ve arrived to your favourite century.
I felt I could sit here with my favourite book until dinner is served inside….
The views from the garden terrace are spectacular, opening on to the Peak District fields and forests surrounding the property.
The chapel is a must, similarly to the whole property, it is unspoilt by modernisation, and has that authentic feel – narrow passages, nooks and crannies, lots of wooden décor as well as well-preserved, simple pre-reformation frescoes.
On the sunny afternoon the chapel is surprisingly bright, with beams of sunrays piercing the stained glass windows and illuminating the chapel’s carved panels as well as a marble statue of a peacefully sleeping boy…. a child who passed away too early a few centuries ago…
It seems that the whole property has been preserved with utmost respect for those who went before and their creative and pragmatic contribution to the development of this beautiful estate.
The Manor sits on a hill overlooking the valleys below – a strategic location in Medieval times for observation and security, but nowadays a perfect location for impressive photography feats.