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Calke Abbey

Calke AbbeyCalke Abbey is the second largest house in Derbyshire, built in 1703 for Sir John Harpur to replace his Swarkestone home. One of the treasures of the Peak, it was aquired in the 1980`s by the National Trust and some of the rooms had remained untouched for nearly 100 years. They have been carefully restored, but left as close to what they were when the trust took over.

The Victorian clutter remains and the Drawing Room, the Great Salloon and other rooms are as they were, when Calke Abbey and other great houses, were in Victorian times. Collections of birds, paintings, ornaments and family photographs dating from this period and earlier, sit amongst peeling wall paper and paint, seeming to wait for the family to return. The most wonderful and unexpected discovery of the house is a mint condition, State Bed, which apparently was never unpacked. Now protected in a glass display cabinet, this early 18th century bed is bedecked with heavily embroidered, Chinese silk hangings which are fabulously rich in colour and texture.

The Abbey stands in its own large beautiful park, with gardens, a chapel, a 19th century ice house, stables and a carriage collection that are all also open to the public. There is also a shop and a restaurant.

Tel: 01332 863822

email: calkeabbey@nationaltrust.org.uk