Monday, 14 August 2017

Haddon Hall - house and garden

Haddon Hall may really be a manor house rather than a castle but it certainly lives up to what we expect from the latter.
It sits on a slight hill above a river, the windows are small and leaded, battlements top the buildings, the stone passageways are suitably worn down through hundreds of years of footsteps, and you enter through a gatehouse - actually two; one on the drive, one at the Hall itself. These days though, at both you're met by guides to welcome you rather than armed guards to keep you out.

The second gatehouse leads to a courtyard with various smaller chambers leading off now housing information for visitors, a private chapel in one corner, and the main house facing you.

Inside, a passage separates the original Tudor kitchens (my photos are too dark to bother sharing) from an open-to-the-rafters medieval hall with huge open fireplace, and gallery above from which minstrels would play.

From here you pass on to smaller rooms added later when fashion moved way from communal hall-style living. The walls are panelled in wood with carvings or intricate plaster mouldings as decorations.

Although old, with most rooms preserved as they would have been 600 years ago, the small addition of modern pieces of furniture here and there makes it feel like a place you could still comfortably live today, though I suspect it would be a little cool for me in winter without central heating; even on a warm, though occasionally rainy summer day, fires were lit in most hearths.

 Looking through the Long Gallery's windows, I saw the sun had come back out so headed to the garden, set on a series of terraces leading down to the river Wye. We last visited Haddon just before Christmas  which obviously wasn't a good time to explore the gardens; being able to was a huge part of why we re-visited.

Formal beds edged in lavender, and echoing the design of the hall's windows, contrast with freer plantings in the herbaceous borders

It's a chance to admire that battlemented silhouette from a different angle

...and after we'd walked back up from the lower terraces, I think we deserved our treat of tea and cake (white chocolate and orange)


  1. Absolutely love this place and the gardens are glorious.

    1. It's beautiful, isn't it? I find it so easy to imagine the Tudor lords, ladies and servants walking those corridors.