Journeying north today, I stopped off at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire. Originally the site of a 12th century abbey, the current house was built around an older structure in 1701. The last family to own the house, the Harpurs, left in 1985, although the building had already been slide gently into an ever increasing state of disrepair since the 1880s.
Calke Abbey was given to the National Trust in 1985 in lieu of death duties and a decision was taken to retain the building in its dilapidated state. A lot of remedial work has been done to stabilise the house, but the interior is otherwise maintained exactly as it was found in 1985. This includes the placement of furniture and other household items, left exactly where they were last placed by the Harpurs. The house is now celebrated as an un-stately home!
I found the sense of decay around the house wonderfully photogenic and the soft light falling on the peeling paintwork just added to the atmosphere. Naturally I took lots of photos so I’ll share them in two sets – this collection featuring the rooms and another focusing on the plethora of smaller details that enchanted me.
4 October 2019