Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Haddon Hall

Such a romantic and evocative place - Haddon Hall is a medieval castle, added to over the next few centuries, lastly by the family in the 16th C. (Dukes of Rutland), and then left quietly to slumber for a few centuries until the 9th Duke fell in love with it, restored it and brought it up to date in a v. careful way. It sits up on its hill, overlooking the river and valley.

There are several legends about the place - the most famous being Dorothy Vernon's elopement with John Manners during a party - they supposedly left the Long Gallery, went out the stairs by the side and thru the gardens, down into the valley.

The Long Gallery is one of the prettiest in all the Tudor houses - the light streaming thru the windows plays on oak paneling of indescribable color: is it brown, is it grey, is it beige; the color changes with the light. The carving is exquisite. The panes of glass are set at differing angles to catch the sun - the effect outside is dazzling.

The plasterwork is v. graceful.

The Great Hall is quite majestic in an intimate way. The carved screen is of the same wood as the Long Gallery.


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