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Kedleston Hall: Part three of my ‘jolly’ there last year – inside All Saints Church with skulls under the floor
Kedleston Hall – Part Three
Another break from my writing-related posts.
I hope you enjoyed parts one and two of my post about my ‘Jolly’ to Kedleston Hall at the end of 2016.
As promised here are my photos of the inside of the church of All Saints,
the only survivor of medieval village at Kedleston which Sir Nathaniel Curzon demolished to make way for his new home.
He didn’t want to disturb the burial-place of his ancestors so the church was saved.
One enters the church through its oldest surviving feature, the Norman south door.
Most of the late 13th century building is constructed from local Derbyshire sandstone,
when the early English style was giving way to the more elaborate Decorated style.
The Church is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.
In about 1700 Sir Nathaniel Curzon, 2nd Bt. employed Smith of Warwick to classicise the east wall facing the house.
He put up a sundial inscribed
‘Wee shall [soon died all]’ next to a skull and crossbones.
The 4th Lord Scarsdale was rector there from 1855-1916, and in 1884-5 he commissioned John Oldrid Scott to undertake a major restoration, which entailed removal of the box pews and the two-decker pulpit.
The Curzon monuments inside the church reflect the antiquity of the family.
The earliest is to Richard de Curzon (active 1297-1306), but is now concealed beneath the floor.
In the South transept there is an alabaster tomb chest with life-size figures of a knight and his lady,
who are thought to be John Curzon (died 1512) and his wife Elizabeth.
Their seventeen children appear in a relief on the side.
On the East wall:
Sir John Curzon, 1st Bt. (1598-1686), his wife Patience and their seven children can be seen.
Opposite there is a bust of Sir John Curzon, 3rd B. who died hunting in the park in 1727.
In the North transept on the West wall:
Sir Nathaniel Cuzon 2nd Bt. (1635-1719), and his wife Sarah, by the leading sculptor, Peter Scheemakers.
Sir Nathaniel Curzon, 4th Bt. (1676-1758), his wife, Mary, and their three sons, by Michael Rysbrack.
The North Chapel:
Lord Curzon added this chapel in 1906-13 as a memorial to his first wife, Mary Leiter.
When she died at the age of 35, he wrote:
‘There has gone from me the truest, most devoted, most unselfish,
most beautiful and brilliant wife that a man ever had,
and I am left with three little motherless children and a broken life.’
The whole chapel is decorated in the sumptuous Edwardian style.
The architect was G.F. Bodley, who designed the estate church at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire.
Sir Bertram Makennal (Australian sculptor) carved the recumbent effigies of Curzon and his wife in white Serravezza marble which is in contrast to the floor which is made from green Aventurine from the Ural mountains in Russia.
I hope you have enjoyed my trip to Kedleston Hall and that it might inspire you to visit as well.
Let me know what you think.
My next ‘jolly’ is almost ready to post…be back with it soon.
All photos (c) Jane Risdon 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Tel: +0044 (0)1333 842191
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