Built: 1701 (construction started)
Location: Derby DE73 7JF
The present building, named Calke Abbey in 1808, was never actually an abbey but is a Baroque mansion built between 1701 and 1704.
The house was owned by the Harpur family for nearly 300 years until it was passed to the Trust in 1985 in lieu of death duties.
Today, the house is open to the public and many of its rooms are deliberately displayed in the state of decline in which the house was handed to the Trust
Review: This is (I think!) Luke and mine’s second or third date. It was the first place we went to that involved exploring historical places.
I had never heard of this place until a year ago, but Luke insisted that I would love it.
And he was right – clearly, he knew me really well by then!
When we arrived there, we had to wait for our time slot to go and walk around the house. That was fine though, as we spent ages exploring all the gardens.
And there’s even a church that you can go and have a look at as well.
We probably spent an hour walking around the outside bit, so there is plenty to do.
We had about five/ten minutes left before our time slot to go in the house, so we decided to sit on the hill just outside the house (only a small hill though, probably would be better to call it an incline).
We really didn’t mind sitting out and waiting though. I mean look how impressive the house is.
As you can see from the photo there are loads of people there. So it is a busy place. It might just have been busy because the weather was so great that day though.
Anyway, like I said there’s plenty to do outside the house.
So if you have to wait a bit before going inside the house, then it’s not really an issue.
Anyway, the inside of the house is gorgeous. I wish I took more photos, but I think I just wanted to take everything in with my eyes first.
Just look at all that furniture though, like why can’t my house look this elegant haha!
It’s no wonder that Luke and I feel in love with exploring these sorts of houses.
You might be surprised to learn though that Calke Abbey is actually described as an “unstately” home.
The house, described as ‘unstately’, was full of curiosities and a pretty impressive collection of taxidermy (although that sort of thing just creeps me out a bit).
But I have to say that, the most impressive part of this house was the volunteers. They were full of interesting information and I would encourage visitors to have a good chat with them.
I can’t believe the last tenant lived there alone for 20 years!
I wish I could be able to afford a place like that, but living there alone would probably just creep me out. Imagine how scary it would be at night!
It is a shame that I never took more photos, but at the time I just wasn’t thinking.
But look at the design on that cupboard – isn’t it incredible?
I would love to be able to have something like this in my home.
Not sure where I would put it though…
There are loads of things scattered around the house which are interesting.
So much detail on some of these pieces are absolutely exquisite. I particularly loved this jacket as well!
Although I couldn’t believe how small it actually was! You can’t really tell from the photo, but clearly, people were just tiny back in those days.
I really want to come back to Calke Abbey, it feels like ages since I walked through its doors.
Luke and I did think about going back a while ago but it wasn’t open yet 😦
We’ll hopefully be able to come back in the Summer though.
I can’t wait to go back again!