"The un-stately home and country estate"
Calke Abbey is a Baroque mansion built between 1701 and 1704 near Ticknall, Derbyshire. Owned by the Harpur family for nearly 300 years it was passed onto the National Trust in 1985, opened to the public and deliberately displaying in the state of disrepair it was left in when handed over to the Trust. While the Trust have carried out remedial work to halt the decline of the building, no restoration has been done and the interior remains almost entirely as it was left in 1985.
The house is surrounded by a landscape park featuring walled gardens, flower beds, green houses, former physic garden, and allotment, alongside an ancient deer park with rare wood pasture with deadwood invertebrate fauna considered a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Surrounding the house itself are buildings including the former stable yard and farm, inside are the old carriages and farm implements; a brewhouse is linked to the main house via a tunnel open for visitors to explore.
Visiting the house and surrounding gardens made for a blissful summer's day, perfect for exploring this family home frozen in time. Calke Abbey has made me eager to become a National Trust member and explore some of the more unusual attractions around the UK.