Haddon Hall is one of the finest examples of a fortified medieval manor house in England. Present-day Haddon Hall dates from the 12th Century to the early 17th Century. It passed down through the Vernon family and then to the Manners family by marriage, remaining in the family to this day. Remarkably, Haddon Hall laid dormant for over two hundred years from 1700 until the 1920s, when the 9th Duke and Duchess of Rutland meticulously restored the house and gardens, and once again made it habitable. The house was Grade I listed in 1951. The estate and gardens were separately listed as Grade I in 1984.
The historic beauty of Haddon Hall and its grounds has made it popular as a film location. Many movies have been filmed here over the years, including The Princess Bride, Elizabeth, three versions of Jane Eyre and more recently, Mary Queen of Scots.
HADDON HALL GARDENS
The origins and evolution of the terraced gardens are not clear, although they can be characterised as the English interpretation of a 16th Century Italianate garden. The terraces are connected with a grand Elizabethan staircase which retains its original balustrading.
When the property was restored in the 1920s, Lady Kathleen, Duchess of Rutland planted the garden with ‘softness and elegance’ which was very much in vogue at the time due to the emergence of the Arts & Crafts Movement and the rise of the English cottage garden. Overtime, Lady Kathleen’s roses became famous with over 150 varieties of roses and clematis providing vivid colour during the summer months.
More recently, the garden has been redesigned by esteemed garden designer, Arne Maynard. Rather than creating a historically correct Elizabethan garden, it was decided that the garden would reflect a garden of today, while celebrating the historical gardens created through time at Haddon Hall. This included adding Elizabethan features, while still capturing the softness of the English cottage garden movement of the 1920s.
A knot garden, the height of fashion during Tudor and Elizabethan times, was installed using plants typical for the period. A flowery mead was also included studded with plants dating back to Elizabethan times and bejewelled by a few rare plants to reflect the fine rare collections within Haddon Hall itself.
To capture the essence of the 1920’s English garden, the borders were softened with loose plantings reflecting the garden cottage style. The old beds of roses were removed, leaving only a beautiful palette of pink and cream roses left to climb and cloak the walls of Haddon Hall. These add to a romantic, casual feel in contrast to and balancing out, the formal structure of the immense stone. The result is a garden that feels intimate and gentle, with a touch of timelessness. A lovely feeling for what is, after all, a family garden.
We visit Haddon Hall on our Great Estate of Derbyshire & the Hampton Court Garden Festival tour in 2021.
For information on all of our current tours please click on the link:
Image credits: Eliza Ford & Haddon Hall