Last month we headed to Calke Abbey in Derbyshire as the farm there was inviting people to come and see the newborn lambs from Calke’s rare breed of Portland sheep. We had been planning on going the previous weekend but had to postpone because of the snow, luckily this time it was dry and fairly warm and it was finally starting to look like spring. There were plenty of lambs and sheep outside and in the barn where we arrived just seconds after one of the lambs was born.
To get in the mood for Christmas we decided to head out to Calke Abbey, a Grade I listed National Trust property in Derbyshire. This was my second visit – you can read about the first visit made in 2011 here. This time, because it’s the winter season, a lot of the house is out of bounds but it is making an effort by decorating the areas that are open, though as we visited early in the day we didn’t get the full effect of the lantern trail and other light displays. Whilst walking around the grounds we also came very close to some deer and spent a long time taking photographs of them – some of those shots are below.
I’ve been to Hardwick Hall before, to visit the gardens and take in one of the walks around the grounds, but on this occasion we went into the hall itself. Bess of Hardwick created the hall in the 1500s and it was renowned for being more glass than wall, making it at the time a very expensive proposition.
Stanton Moor Edge is part of the Peak District in Derbyshire that is, as you can tell by its name, to the edge of Stanton Moor and under the care of the National Trust. Here you can find many natural sandstone rocks and see some fantastic views of the surrounding countryside as well as the intriguing Earl Grey Tower.
Stanton Moor is an area of the Peak District in Derbyshire not far from Matlock and site of the Nine Ladies Stone Circle, dating from the Bronze Age. The moor has been used for thousands of years for ceremonies, farming and quarrying.
Stainsby Mill is a 19th century flour mill, still in working order, which is in the care of the National Trust and we visited it on our way to Hardwick Hall which is nearby (and which will feature in a later post).
Derby Cathedral, or the Cathedral of All Saints, became a cathedral in 1927 with much of the current building dating from around 1725 and having been designed by James Gibbs, who also designed St Martin-in-the-Fields. There has been a church on the site however dating back to around 943.
I visited Derby Museum and Art Gallery on the recommendation of a friend and it was just as good as she had suggested. Established in 1879, with the art gallery opening in 1882, it resides now in a wing of the main building that dates from 1964, but which is shared with Derby Central Library (a post on the exterior of that will follow – it really is an impressive looking building).
On a sunny day last year we headed to Derbyshire and Hardwick Hall, a stunning Elizabethan house built by Elizabeth Shrewsbury, best known as Bess of Hardwick. Rather than explore the house on this visit we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and go on some of the walks around the Estate and the gardens, which did however bring us close enough to admire the Hall.
Recently we took a trip to Bolsover Castle, an English Heritage site in Derbyshire. (I won’t say when we went, as the time between me making these visits and being able to sit down and write about them seems to increase exponentially). We don’t visit nearly as many English Heritage sites as we do National Trust, though that’s not any kind of conscious decision.