Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)
Nether Haddon
Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SK 23616 66209


Terraced gardens with a balustrade and stone steps of the C17 and terraces which probably have C16 or earlier origins. Parkland probably of C18 date with earlier origins.


William Peverel was in possession of lands in Derbyshire which included Haddon before 1087. The estates were forfeited in the C12. A deed of c 1170 divided the site between Richard de Vernon and Simon Basset and Richard subsequently acquired Basset's moiety. The estate remained in the Vernon family until 1567, when it passed by marriage to the Manners family, earls of Rutland. A dukedom was conferred on the Earl in 1703, and by this time Belvoir (qv) had become the family's principal seat. The Hall was little used during the C18 and C19, though the fabric was maintained. A major restoration, notable for the sensitivity and skill with which it was undertaken, was instituted by the ninth Duke in the early C20. The estate remains in the family (1998).


LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Haddon Hall lies c 2km south-east of Bakewell in a rural and agricultural setting. The gardens and Hall are on a bluff overlooking the River Wye which runs through the park from north-west to south-east. The parkland occupies both sides of the river valley and flood plain. The c 62ha site lies on the north side of the A6, which forms the southern boundary. The northern boundary is formed by the north side of Parkside Wood and Housley Wood, Bowling Green farmhouse and the bowling green, and an iron pale running west from this on the inner side of a track from Bowling Green Farm.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The main entrance is from the A6 where a drive leads north from the road to a gatehouse (early C20, listed grade II). The drive continues to the north, crossing the Wye via a stone bridge (1663 with later repairs, listed grade II) with three arches and triangular refuges. The route continues to a stable block from which a path leads eastwards up a steep slope to an entrance to a courtyard on the south-west side of the Hall.

A second entrance on the north side of the site is reached from a track which runs south-west from Bowling Green Farm to the north-east side of the Hall where there is an entrance to a courtyard.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING Haddon Hall (listed grade I) is a manor house built on a double courtyard plan. A house is mentioned in documents of c 1170, and a licence to build a wall around it was granted in 1195. Some evidence of the C12 work survives, but the upper (northern) courtyard is mainly of mid C14 date, and the lower (southern) courtyard dates largely from the C15. There is a chapel with C12 origins and C15 grisaille wall decorations at the south-east corner of the lower courtyard. A long gallery and adjacent state bedroom, on the south-east side of the building overlooking the gardens, have C16 origins. The Great Hall, close to the centre of the complex, has one of the best medieval screens in the country (Pevsner and Williamson 1978) and the kitchen is a remarkable survival with many early fittings. Haddon Hall is widely considered to be one of the finest and least altered buildings of its type in England. It is in private ownership (1998).

Some 50m west of the Hall there is a stable block (listed grade II) with C14 origins, C17 alterations and a restoration of 1912. It is in use as a cafe (1998). Attached to the west side of the stables is a gardener's cottage (C17, listed grade II) with attached stone walls enclosing a small garden with topiary figures.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The garden lies on the south-east side of the Hall. It is walled and contains a range of terraces (walls and terraces all listed grade II*) which are built into land which falls to the south and east. The northernmost and highest, c 30m north-east of the Hall, is supported by a stone retaining wall and reached from a flight of stone steps. A door in the terrace's south-east perimeter wall leads to a flight of steps down to the riverbank. The terrace is grassed and has flower beds replacing an avenue of sycamores, suggested on the 1879 OS map, which was removed during the early C20.

Below this is a terrace which is reached from the north-east side of the Hall by a doorway of c 1650 which leads to a flight of balustraded stone steps down to the garden. This has a perimeter walk around lawns and beds. In the south-east corner there is a summerhouse of early C20 date which replaced a small building in approximately the same position shown on the 1879 OS map. This terrace is referred to as a bowling green in C18 records, and was planted with yews, shown in an undated late C19 or early C20 photograph (CL 1962, 1500), which had to be removed during the early C20 owing to their large size.

At the edge (south side) of the terrace there is an arcaded balustrade of the same design as the balustrade on the staircase from the Hall, and central stone steps lead down to a terrace which is called the Fountain Garden, for the central pool and fountain of early C20 date. This has a parapet wall around it and at the south-east corner a set of circular steps in the angle of the wall form a small platform from which views to the south and east across the river and park can be obtained. In the north-east corner there is a gateway with an iron gate leading to the riverbank. A walkway runs south-westwards from the Fountain Garden alongside the Long Gallery and State Room ranges of the Hall, with two short flights of stone steps down the slope. This continues in front of the chapel, at the southern tip of the Hall complex, and leads to a flight of seventy-six stone steps running south-eastwards down the slope alongside the garden's perimeter wall giving access to terraces on three levels and a door in the south-east perimeter wall leading to the riverbank.

The Fountain Garden and the walkway along the south-east front are supported by stone retaining walls c 3m high supported by massive stone buttresses. The first of the terraces below this is supported by an L-shaped stone retaining wall, as is that below. A flight of stone steps at the northern end of the lowest terrace leads up to a paved area with a stone seat in the angle of two buttresses. To the north-east of this is a lawn with a series of grassed terraces which lies below the Fountain Garden. The south-east perimeter wall has a low parapet affording views to the south and east. Doors in the wall give access to the riverbank where there is an informal walk beside the water.

A wall extends east to the riverbank from the line of the south-west perimeter wall, and a doorway in it gives access to a path leading to a narrow C17 bridge (listed grade II) crossing the river into the park.

A C16 gateway is attached to the west side of the south-west gate tower, and this leads to a terraced walk running south-east along the edge of a limestone cliff with views of the Wye and parkland to the south. The walk continues to a door in a stone wall which leads into the south side of the gardens at the head of the flight of seventy-six stone steps.

The origins and evolution of the terraced gardens are not clear, but it is reasonable to assume that gardens were extant when the stairway to the garden on the north-east side of the Hall was built in the mid C17. There is a reference in estate papers of 1650 to building a garden wall which refers to the entrance and stairway to the garden as the 'new' door (quoted in CL 1949, 1888). It is likely that this mid C17 work was a modification of existing work which itself probably represented a gradual evolution of the south-east-facing slopes as pleasure grounds or gardens which could have started during the C14 or C15. A description of 1697 mentions 'a fine Grove of High trees and good Gardens' (guidebook) which suggests that the trees at least were well established at this time. It has been suggested (Hussey in CL 1949) that the terraced walk along the south-east side of the Hall, and possibly the terraces below this, may have originated c 1545 when a raised timber gallery supported by posts possibly existed on this side of the building. This could have been comparable to a gallery connected with medieval gardens referred to in records of Thornbury Castle, Gloucester.

Some 350m north-east of the Hall there is a walled bowling green entered from a stone gateway with steps leading up to it on the south-west side and overlooked from the north-east side by an early C19 building called Bowling Green Farm (building and bowling green listed grade II).

PARK The park at Haddon consists largely of open pasture land with numerous scattered trees, including a clump of mature oak and lime trees south of Bowling Green Farm shown on the 1879 OS map. Belts of planting protect the southern and western boundaries, and the flat valley bottom with the meandering course of the Wye affords views of the Hall and gardens from various points in the eastern and southern parts of the park. A dovecote (1614, listed grade II) overlooks the river from a bluff c 300m south-west of the Hall.

It is not known when the park originated, but records of animals killed per year at Haddon in the late C17 which mention 'between 30 and 40 beefs and between 4 and 500 sheep' (ibid) suggest a fairly large park and farm was extant at that time.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:
Parks and Gardens


Books and journals
Anthony, J, The Gardens of Britain 6, (1979), 83-6
Pevsner, N, Williamson, E, The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, (1978), 221-9
Country Life (16 December 1949), pp 1814-18
Country Life (23 December 1949), pp 1884-8
Country Life (9 December 1949), pp 1742-6
Country Life, 106 (2 December 1949), pp 1651-6
Country Life, 131 (21 June 1962), pp 1498-1500
Haddon Hall, guidebook, (c 1980)
OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1879
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1887-8


This garden or other land is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by Historic England for its special historic interest.

End of official listing

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