Friday, 7 December 2018

Once Upon A Time - Christmas at Haddon Hall

 Earlier this week we took ourselves off through the mist and murk to Haddon Hall (just about visible as we approached over the bridge) to see it arrayed for Christmas

The theme this year is Once Upon A Time, with tableaux featuring favourite childhood stories.

Outside in the courtyard, we spotted Rapunzel's hair lowered through a tower window - though high in the tower she was barely visible through the mist!

Moving into the kitchens, Cinderella appeared to have left her position by the hearth

but the three bears were still seated at their table, trying to finish their porridge before Goldilocks arrived.

Their Christmas tree was appropriately decorated with wooden spoons and tiny bears

Here's the door to Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother's house. No cold callers, canvassers or big bad wolves it says on the sign, and the table is laid ready for tea, but whose are those large hairy hands opening the door?

We left quickly before the Big Bad Wolf could spring out at us,

and, following the rose briars climbing up the stairs and along corridors, we found Cinderella's coach and tiny glass slipper ... but still no sign of Cinders herself.

The rambling roses led us onward to the Long Gallery where nature had completely taken over

and we found Sleeping Beauty waiting in a flowery bower for her prince to waken her.

Beyond, in a small room, elves worked overnight to help a penniless shoemaker, and his wife rewarded them with new suits of clothes.

Haddon Hall itself is the real 'sleeping beauty' though - a manor house that feels untouched since Tudor times, with uneven small panes of greenish glass in the windows, warped and weathered doors, and thick stones walls to keep out the winter chill.

  I've visited in summer when the gardens are filled with roses but approaching through the mist gave a definite feel of stumbling on a forgotten castle, filled with memories of the past.

Curiously this year neighboring Chatsworth House has chosen the same theme of Once Upon a Time for its Christmas display. See here  for photos of their version.

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