We then headed north to visit a friend from our Botswana days. At her suggestion, we visited Haddon House, another fabulous medieval house, which had retained its “pristine medievalism” because it had been shut up for 200 years (its lord got an upgrade and moved to a bigger house) and it was only reopened in the early 20th century!
So while Hardwick Hall reflected the heights of Elizabethan, rennaissance, sophistication, Haddon Hall took you back to an earlier, more rough edged time. The kitchen, for example was more of a true medieval kitchen with fewer mod cons.
The family is actually still in residence now, but in a modernized section! Absolutely amazing. It was the middle of the week, so we had a very pleasant visit and a lovely lunch.
The first mentions of a house/fort at Haddon date from around 1150. Around 1195, the owner was granted permission by John of Mortain (Later, King John. Yes, THAT John.) to build a low and un-crenellated wall around the buildings – hardly a serious fort. The building grew in fits and starts until 1703, when the owner was elevated in title and moved to Belvoir Castle. (Better view!) The site was then basically abandoned until the early 20th Century when the ninth Duke and Duchess of Rutland began a restoration program. Close to a time capsule.
All of that eating required a lot of cooking. The kitchens were large and, over time, connected to the Banqueting Hall by a large passage.
Haddon Hall has a small museum of things found over the renovations, mostly lost behind the paneling. The laundry tally falls into the category of never-seen-one-of-those-before. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/rII5wHuCQtSrVujRwwZFJg)
The Earl’s Apartment, One of the upstairs bedrooms preserves royal graffiti from over the centuries. Some of it dating way back, and some of it VERY modern!
The Hall has been owned by two families. Their crests are in the left photo and the Order of the Garter is in the right photo. The colored glass still glows on a sunny day. The diamond shaped panes are each set at a different angle to maximize the sparkle.