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Kedleston Hall, a grand house, parkland and pleasure grounds built to impress: another ‘jolly.’ Part One

January 25, 2017

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.

Kedleston Hall (c) Sally Duffell 2016

Kedleston Hall

This is the third of my final ‘jollies’ in 2016.

I hope you enjoyed the previous two.

As you probably know I was fortunate enough to go on several towards the end of last year.

Kedleston Hall (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Kedleston Hall – the rear. (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Kedleston Hall River (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Kedleston Hall River (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Here is the latest. Let me know what you think.

Another chilly and damp day saw us take a trip to Kedleston Hall (Derbyshire) former home of the Curzon family and now owned and run by The National Trust.

The Drawing Room (c) Jane Risdon 2016

The Drawing Room (c) Jane Risdon 2016

We visited the restaurant first to warm up and have a light lunch. After which we took a tour of the house.

There has been a house at Kedleston since medieval times.

The north front has been called ‘the grandest Palladian facade in Britain.’

25 foot Derbyshire Marble Columns in the Marble Hall. (c) Jane Risdon 2016

25 foot Derbyshire Marble Columns in the Marble Hall. (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Front view of Kedleston Hall 2016

View across the front grounds Kedleston Hall 2016

Drawing on the monuments of ancient Rome and the designs of the 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, Robert Adam was chosen to be the architect ‘resolved to spare no Expence, with £10,000 a year, Good Temper’d & having taste himself for the Arts.’

(c) Jane Risdon Dining Room

(c) Jane Risdon Dining Room

Adam set out to build a house that would rival Chatsworth.

Great Staircase Kedleston Adams Design (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Great Staircase Kedleston Adams Design (c) Jane Risdon 2016

The Curzon family came to  Britain from Normandy at the time of William the Conqueror and have most likely lived at Kedleston since 1150 and probably since 1198/99 when they were granted ‘all the vill of Ketelestune.’

Great Stair-case (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Great Stair-case (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Marble Hall (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Marble Hall (c) Jane Risdon 2016

They established their position in Derbyshire by gradually adding to the estate and by serving as MP (Member of Parliament) for the county from the mid-16th century.

From 1640 onward the estate grew rapidly until it comprised 10,000 acres in Derbyshire and the neighbouring counties. 

Ceiling and wall paintings Marble Hall (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Ceiling and wall paintings Marble Hall (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Music Room (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Music Room (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Mostly due to Sir John Curzon (1598-1686) who also raised the family’s status by being created a baronet in 1641.

Four years later he became the head of the family following the death of Mary Curzon, the former governess of James II, the chatelaine of the great Sackville house of Knole and the last of the Curzons of Croxall.

(c) Jane Risdon 2016

(c) Jane Risdon 2016

Funny how these families are all intertwined somehow.

Do take a look at my ‘jollies’ to the homes of Vita Sackville-West at  Knole and at

Sissinghurst as I am sure if you enjoy this you will enjoy those ‘jollies.’

http://wp.me/p2dg55-1Qm

http://wp.me/p2dg55-1Oc

A little more historical background and then I’ll get on with the photos.

The Marble Hall Kedleston (c) Jane Risdon 2016

The Marble Hall Kedleston (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Sir John sided with the Parliamentarians during the Civil War, but from the early 18th century his descendants were loyal supporters of the King,becoming the great Tory family of Derbyshire, just as the great houses of Chatsworth and Hardwick (the Cavendishes) were the leading Whigs.

Ceiling Marble Hall ceiling (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Ceiling Marble Hall ceiling (c) Jane Risdon 2016

I visited both on my ‘jolly’ and will post about them later in this series. 

In 1671 Sir John’s son Nathaniel, 2nd Bt. married Sarah Penn, daughter of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, establishing the family’s long ties with America.

I am reminded of being asked, with my husband and a few others –  I forget exactly when but I think sometime in the late 1970s –  to take part in the very first Fiber-optic telephone call to America from Reading, Berkshire to Reading Pennsylvania.  

It was great fun. We were allowed to make a phone call (to America) to whomever we wished.  We called an aunt of mine and, typically, she wasn’t at home and didn’t have an answering machine. Don’t laugh.

Back to the house. Wow! I am sure you are saying it too. Wow!

MIrror image of drawing room (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Mirror image of drawing room (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Apparently the house was never meant to be a home, but a place to show off, to parade wealth, power and influence.

The family had their own private state rooms, with most of the house was not lived in as a home, but used to hold parties, receptions with formal ‘rooms to parade.’

Music Room, organ and kettle drums (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Music Room, organ and kettle drums (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Guests were allowed to walk through them admiring the furniture, upholstery and enjoying the fine paintings.

 Kedleston was one of the original ‘bling palaces,’ I think.

As always I took way too many photos, I couldn’t resist.

The parkland and pleasure grounds are magnificent and enormous and we didn’t get round them all because of the weather.

The Lake (c) Jane Risdon 2016

The Lake (c) Jane Risdon 2016

The sun did come out from time to time, but mostly it was damp with some drizzle. To be expected so late in the year. 

We also went into the church and I’ll post about that later too.

I’ve just had a look at the number of photos I took inside the house and if I want to do my piece justice I think I must stretch this to part two, because there were so many interesting artifacts and things inside the house I’d like you to see, so you can get an idea of the sort of people lived in Kedleston Hall. 

The Library - Desk. (c) Jane Risdon 2016

The Library – Desk. (c) Jane Risdon 2016

So, stand by for Part Two with some of the collections the family gathered.

The Saloon (c) Jane Risdon 2016

The Saloon (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Meantime if you feel the urge to make a visit yourself, here are the details:

E: kedlestonhall@nationaltrust.org.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 1332 842191

Kedleston Hall, near Quarndon, Derby,Derbyshire DE22 5JH

http://www.nationalrust.org.uk/kedleston

As ever all photos are (c) Jane Risdon 2016 All Rights Reserved.

Chess Set Kedleston Hall (c) Jane Risdon 2016

Chess Set Kedleston Hall (c) Jane Risdon 2016

The Trophy Corridor (c) Jane Risdon 2016

The Trophy Corridor (c) Jane Risdon 2016

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26 Comments
  1. Well done and lovely images. Thank you for the follow and it’s good meeting you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure, glad you enjoyed them an there are more photos to come as soon as I get chance to add them. If you enjoy this post do take a look at some of my other posts from various places and gardens. I am sure you’ll enjoy them, let me know. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow and wow again. What an excursion. Thank you for taking us along so we could see this portion of the world through your eyes and words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are most welcome. go on a little ‘jolly’ from time to time and always write them up and share the photos I take, so if interested do take a wander around my blog and check out some of the other grand houses, gardens and other places I have visited when not crime writing or hosting guest authors. Pop back again. I hope to get some more up soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • We sure will. Crime writing? Sounds interesting. I’m currently in the process of my first writing in this venue. Putting the 39 years to paper.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes I am a crime writer, main reason for this blog. I do dabble in other genres from time to time as well. Oh you must write your lie story, always so interesting even when people think their lives are not. It will do you good too 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Tina Jaray permalink

    Fabulous photos – as usual. What wonderful columns – I do love columns

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is an amazing place Tina, columns everywhere. Very Classic. 🙂 More photos to come as and when I get time, you ain’t seen nothing yet. 🙂

      Like

  4. Oh my, These photos are beautiful!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Alan Powers permalink

    great photos I think the grounds were used for army training during the second world war

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alan, glad you like them. Yes I have a feeling your are right. Lovely grounds too. I shall be writing parts 2 and 3 as soon as able. Got some crime writing to do in the meantime, have a great weekend. 🙂

      Like

  6. Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Goodness, what a grand house and I’d never heard of it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hadn’t either Marina, but it would take more than just the day I spent there to see it all. Just the sheer number of interesting features, like doors without hinges showing, and secret doors in walls where you cannot see the join, not to mention a whole room filled with things the family collected from all over the world. I am going to have to do a part 2 and 3 to cover it all. Glad you liked it. Keep and eye out for the other parts – not written them up yet. 🙂

      Like

  8. What a lovely place! And so elegant, too! Thanks for sharing this adventure with us, Jane. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is lovely and vast and filled to the brim with collections of all sorts of interesting things which I will share as soon as I get chance. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for these images of times gone by frozen into our time. Always interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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