The origins of Haddon Hall date back to 1066 and William the Conqueror, whose illegitimate son William Peverell the Elder first held the manor. The hall passed to the the Avenell family and then by marriage to Sir Richard Vernon, and eventually to the Manners family when it became one of the seats of the Duke of Rutland. Haddon is now the home of Lord Edward Manners, brother of David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland.
The Hall is unique, in that it has retained most of its 16th century architecture and decor as it was left untouched for 200 years while the Dukes of Rutland resided at Belvoir Castle. In the 1920s John Manners, the 9th Duke of Rutland, realising the importance of the hall being frozen in time, set to work restoring the Hall so that now we can enjoy a step back to Medieval and Tudor times.
How To Get Here
Haddon Hall is located on the A6 a mile and a half south of Bakewell. Parking is in a large private car park on the A6 opposite the hall.
Parking Lat/Long: 53.191786,-1.652251
Location OS map co-ordinate: SK233661
Nearest Parking Postcode: DE45 1LA
Photographers and photography clubs wishing to get the place to themselves, and thus free of other visitors, can attend outside normal opening times, during which time they are also free to use a tripod with rubber feet. This is quite useful given the fact that many of the rooms are kept deliberately darkened to help preserve the fragile furniture and fittings in the house. Rates for commercial photography and individuals wanting to visit outside opening times are subject to negotiation and depend on the use to which the resulting pictures will be put. For a small fee refreshments can also be provided for visiting groups, subject to restaurant opening times.
Viewpoint 1: The Courtyard
The immediate view from the entrance gate into the courtyard takes in the superb front aspect of the hall.
Viewpoint 2: Architectural Details and the Gardens
A walk around the outside of the hall will reveal many architectural details to photograph, especially carved stonework (patinations) and leaded-windows, often shrouded with flowers.
Look up at the eaves of the buildings and the crenellations. The hall is covered in fabulous stone detail that evokes its age and history. A photographic walk around the Elizabethan terraced gardens – there is a lower and upper garden – is best in late spring and early summer.
Viewpoint 3: The Bridge from the Garden
One corner of the terrace looks out over the river Wye, down to a pretty stone footbridge that crosses the river. This composes well with the tree-shrouded river beyond it. A path leads down to the bridge and from here are compositions looking back at Haddon with the river Wye in the foreground.
Inside the Hall
The house has two courtyards surrounded by many rooms, all have photographic interests but highlights include:
Viewpoint 4: The Banqueting Hall
Immediately inside the front door to the hall is the Banqueting Hall. In the afternoon the light streams into here from the large south-facing windows.
Viewpoint 5: The Long Gallery
Up some stairs at the back of the hall is the Long Gallery. A wonderful room, well lit from windows on both sides. Fabulously photogenic.
Viewpoint 6: The Hall from Haddon Fields
Opposite the hall entrance driveway between a house and the car park two footpaths lead up hill through the fields, know as Haddon Fields. One path follows a wall up by some dew ponds, the other traverses across the field by a field barn. Both footpaths have great viewpoints looking back at the hall. The best time is late autumn, usually in November, when, with the sun rising in the south east and setting in the south west, the hall will be illuminated for most of the day surrounded by a kaleidoscope of autumn hues. For the golden hours, get here just before sunrise (sunrise 7am) or at least two hours before sunset (sunset is 4.30pm in November).
Note: Sometimes the car park by the hall will be closed and there is no good parking close-by. In these circumstances drive toward Rowley and turn right on the B5056 toward Alport and park at the first junction (53.180131, -1.655357) there is a footpath that leads by Shining Bank quarry to the north and then right over the hill passing a plantation to Haddon Fields in front of the hall.
Photography is welcomed at Haddon by Lord Edward, both in the hall and in its beautiful walled gardens and any visit will not be disappointing. The Hall is set in mixed woodland of Haddon Estate Parkland on a south west slope next to the river Wye, and photographs of the hall itself from distant viewpoints are worth visiting.
Access from the car park to the hall is via a gravel drive. The hall is slightly uphill from the drive. The paths around the gardens are also gravel. Within the hall itself the floor is a mixture of old, undulating and uneven gritstone slabs and floorboards covered in places with rugs.
Best Time of Year/Day
Haddon opens daily from May to October and is best in the early summer when the gardens are at their most beautiful. You are likely to get fewer people in your photographs if you visit during the week outside the holiday periods. There is an entrance charge, check haddonhall.co.uk for details.