Uncover Derbyshire’s historical country houses, from Haddon Hall, the quintessential medieval manor, to Kedleston Hall, Robert Adam’s beautifully restored neoclassical masterpiece
Enjoy visits to private houses including Tissington Hall, Renishaw Hall and Radbourne Hall
Examine world-famous collections of furniture, paintings and decorative arts
"Oliver is an outstanding guide: so knowledgeable and enthusiastic"
- ACE Customer on a 2021 tour with Oliver Gerrish
The county of Derbyshire boasts several of the finest country houses in England, and this tour provides an introduction to their rich heritage. Great architecture, fabulous art collections and extraordinary families build a picture of the social life of the county from the early modern period to the present day. Visits to many of the splendid gardens associated with the houses will provide further context.
Renishaw Hall is a treasure trove of furniture, and Haddon Hall is a romantic medieval manor house with additions from the 13th to 18th centuries. Tissington was built in 1609, and remains home to the FitzHerbert family to this day. Also from the 17th century, Bolsover Castle dominates the surrounding countryside from its hilltop perch: it was once the most fashionable of society venues, even hosting a Ben Jonson masque in 1634 in honour of a visit by Charles I.
Hardwick Hall, famously ‘more glass than wall’, is an outstanding Elizabethan prodigy house, built for the notable and formidable patron Bess of Hardwick. Surrounded by extensive parkland, it is home to beautiful Elizabethan embroideries and tapestries – some of the finest in the country – and rare 16th century French walnut furniture.
Kedleston Hall is a magnificent 18th century mansion designed by the famous Robert Adam as a ‘temple of the arts’, and 2017 saw the completion of a 30 year restoration of its State Floor.
We also look forward to a special private visit to Radbourne Hall, a Grade I listed Georgian country house on an estate that has been held by the Chandos family since the Norman Conquest. Rarely open to the public, the house was built around 1739, and was restored in the 1950s by John Fowler and again in recent years by Peregrine Bryant Architects. It is home to a fine collection of paintings by Joseph Wright of Derby.
A further highlight of the tour will be the beautiful gardens at Melbourne Hall, considered the best surviving early 18th century garden in England in the manner of the famous French landscape designer André Le Notre. We will enjoy a visit to the delightful house, which remains a lived-in family home, and view its collection of paintings and furnishings dating from the 17th to 21st centuries.
We will stay throughout at the four-star Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel & Country Club, near Morley. Located in a 300-acre estate in the Derbyshire countryside, the hotel is set in a 13th century building and enjoys classically decorated rooms.
This tour will be led by Oliver Gerrish, MSt, an architectural historian who studied at the University of Cambridge. Oliver is a trustee of the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust and founded their Architectural Awards, and is the former Chairman of The Young Georgians, the youth chapter of The Georgian Group. Oliver has written for Country Life, has appeared in a number of BBC and ITV television series on architecture, and has organised and led numerous tours to many of Britain’s historical buildings.
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Included: Accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, two lunches, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not Included: Travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £125.