Calke Abbey – exploring the house

by Helen Hooker October. 04, 2019 453 views
One of the back staircases, complete with firehoses

One of the back staircases, complete with firehoses

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.

I'm not sure what this bamboo structure is - perhaps a shower?

I'm not sure what this bamboo structure is - perhaps a shower?

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!

Threadbare carpets and peeling wallpaper

Threadbare carpets and peeling wallpaper

A tiny room packed with books

A tiny room packed with books

Looking down through the main staircase

Looking down through the main staircase

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.

The kitchen was my favourite room - the light was glorious!

The kitchen was my favourite room - the light was glorious!

Inside the cavernous spaces beneath the house

Inside the cavernous spaces beneath the house

A brick-lined tunnel through to the brewhouse

A brick-lined tunnel through to the brewhouse

4 October 2019

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Kay Hooker 1 month ago

What a fantastic place. Reminds me of how Rainham Hall was when I saw it back in the 1960's.  Well done, Helen.

1 month ago Edited
Benny Law 1 month, 1 week ago

Great indoor shots with a well captured ambience.

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Don Baird 1 month, 1 week ago

Wow. Great photos. Would like to visit there. Great dynamic range, especially the first image. Did you use HDR?

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
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