On My Doorstep

I’ve lived in Derbyshire for fourteen years, and never more than eight miles from the National Trust’s Kedleston Hall. But despite the proximity to my slightly more humble abode, I have never visited the 1760s Robert Adams design house and parkland.

The house was never meant to be a home, merely a showpiece for the art and furnishings of the Curzon family.

Grazing in front of Kedleston Hall's North Front
Grazing in front of Kedleston Hall’s North Front

The house is a delight; a smorgasbord of fluted alabaster pillars, Italian marbled floors, and grisaille panels. Visiting first the ornate neo-classical rooms on the first floor, one begins to understand why the Hall has the alternative title of The Temple of the Arts.

The circular Saloon with its 62 feet high oculus
The circular Saloon with its 62 feet high oculus
The Music Room
The Music Room

The tour then continues downstairs to a delightful museum and billiards room.

The parklands are extensive, and are far more in keeping with the natural landscape as opposed to the more formal gardens of the day. Follies abound. As does a church adjacent to the house where many of the Curzon family lie in rest.

The view of the house from the south provides a facade based on the Arch of Costantine in Rome.

South face and adjacent All Saints' Church
South face and adjacent All Saints’ Church

It’s fair to say we don’t always appreciate what lies on our doorstep. I shall become more aware of what is close to hand.

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