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A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
Haddon Hall (2)
Haddon Hall

A visit to Haddon Hall was amongst the excursions on offer to the Victorian tourist. If you began your tour at Matlock or Rowsley station you would visit Haddon in the morning and Chatsworth in the afternoon, apart from on Saturdays when the visits were reversed as Chatsworth shut at 1p.m. The Matlock tour at the end of the nineteenth century cost 3s. for the 22 mile drive[1].

R. N. Worth described the visit he made. "In a very few minutes we are in front of Haddon Hall, perhaps the most picturesque group of mediæval buildings in England - perfect in situation, perfect in surroundings; even to the quaint garden at the foot of the ascent leading to the entrance, with clipped yew boar's head and other formalities, and happily showing no trace of modern hand. The one 'touch of nature' with which we could dispense as 'out of keeping' is the charge of 3d. for admission, though no one with a feeling for the antique would begrudge twenty times that amount.

The Hall stands on an acclivity on the eastern bank of the Wye; and the buildings consist of two quadrangles on different levels"[1].

In 1866 George Bradshaw, the writer of railway guides, thought "the great Hall (the Martindale Hall of Scott's "Peveril of the Peak"), the Chapel, the Eagle Tower, the terraced gardens [see below], are objects of interest"[2].

Haddon Hall, The Terrace Steps
The terrace steps, about 1900

Black's Guide of 1864[3] provides an interesting account of how the Vernon family had lived "in regal state" and the writer thought the Great Hall "one of the most interesting specimens of the kind in existence".

"A gallery occupies two sides of the hall. The joists of the roof are bare ; and the huge fire-places contrast strangely with the more elegant comforts of modern times. The hall is thirty five feet long by twenty-five feet wide.

The Great Hall at Haddon
Haddon Hall interior - the Great Hall, 1864[3]

There are some curious relics of bygone days in this hall. Fire-dogs are still retained, stags' antlers adorn the wainscotted gallery, and against the entrance doorway in the screen is a strong iron hook (see the image above), to which it was customary to attach the hands, high above the head, of defaulters at carousals who did not do their full duty to their liquor, and while in this position, as further punishment, cold water was poured down the sleeves of his doublet"[3]. The hook was still there in 1884 (see the image below).

Croston (1868) adds a little more detail about the hall, which is separated from the vestibule by an oak screen. The gallery was where the "musicyons" played during dinner. He observed that the front of both the gallery and the screen, are "ornamented with oak panelling, enriched with Gothic tracery, and liberally adorned with the trophies of the chase"[4]. There was/is also oak panelling above the fireplace.

In 1884, when this photo was taken, a visitor wrote:
"Who, that has once seen Haddon Hall, can forget it? What a fine old place it is,
and what vicissitudes of life it must have seen. ... Even in its ruinous state, the old hall
looks charming

1. and 2. The two postcards, from paintings by Henry Hadfield Cubley, published by Raphael Tuck & Sons "Oilette" [Regd.] Art Publishers to their Majesties the King and Queen. Postcard 1487
"Haddon Hall, Sunset". Unposted. (top image)
"Haddon Hall, The Terrace Steps". Posted 1904 (middle image)
These postcards had the usual side bar for the card's title and message that was part of all postcards produced in the first decade of the twentieth century but has been omitted to present a slightly larger image.
3. Engraving of the interior from Black's Guide[3].
4. "Haddon Hall, Banqueting Hall". Postcard by F. Frith & Co. Ltd, Reigate, No.16611. Unused. Published 1884.
All images in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] R. N. Worth, F.G.S., (1890) "Tourist's Guide to Derbyshire", Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur Street, Charing Cross.

[2] "Bradshaw's Handbook for Tourists in Great Britain and Ireland ... Section Four ... Railways ... Midland", (1866) pub London (Adams) & Manchester (Bradshaw and Blacklock). This guide is now famous as the inspiration for the BBC TV series "Great British Railway Journeys" presented by Michael Portillo.

[3] "Black's Tourist Guide to Derbyshire" (1864) pub. Adam and Charles Black Edinburgh.

[4] Croston, James (1868) (2nd Ed) "On Foot Through the Peak; or a Summer Saunter Through the Hills and Dales of Derbyshire", Manchester: John Heywood, 141 & 143, Deansgate. London, Simpkin, Marshall & Co.

[5] "Buxton Advertiser", 2 February 1884. Rambles in Derbyshire, Rowsley and Haddon by Gadfly.

Also see, elsewhere on this web site:
Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, 1891
Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811 includes a short piece about Haddon (under Bakewell).
The Wolley Manuscripts, Derbyshire

Two artists who painted pictures of Haddon Hall
Biography of Henry Hadfield Cubley, whose paintings were turned into post cards.
Frank Clay

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