Online Encyclopedia

HADDON HALL

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 797 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HADDON HALL, one of the most famous ancient mansions in England. It lies on the left bank of the river Wye, 2 M. S.E. of Bakewell in Derbyshire. It is not now used as a residence, but the fabric is maintained in order. The building is of stone and oblong in form, and encloses two quadrangles separated by the great banqueting-hall and adjoining chambers. The greater part is of two storeys, and surmounted by battlements. To the south and south-east lie terraced gardens, and the south front of the eastern quadrangle is occupied by the splendid ball-room or long gallery. At the south-west corner of the mansion is the chapel; at the north-east the Peveril tower. The periods of building represented are as follows. Norman work appears in the chapel (which also served as a church for the neighbouring villagers), also in certain fundamental parts of the fabric, notably the Peveril tower. There are Early English and later additions to the chapel; . the banqueting-hall, with the great kitchen adjacent to it, and part of the Peveril tower are of the 14th century. The eastern range of rooms, including the state-room, are of the 15th century; the western and north-western parts were built shortly after 1500. The ball-room is of early 17th-century construction, and the terraces and gardens were laid out at this time. A large number of interesting contemporary fittings are preserved, especially in the banqueting-hall and kitchen; and many of the rooms are adorned with tapestries of the 16th and 17th centuries, some of which came from the famous works at Mortlake in Surrey. A Roman altar was found and is preserved here, but no trace of Roman inhabitants has been discovered. Haddon was a manor which before the Conquest and at the time of the Domes-day Survey belonged to the king, but was granted by William the Conqueror to William Peverel, whose son, another William Peverel, forfeited it for treason on the accession of Henry II. Before that time, however, the manor of Haddon had been granted to the family of Avenell, who continued to hold it until one William Avenell died without male issue and his property was divided between his two daughters and heirs, one of whom married Richard Vernon, whose successors acquiredthe other half of the manor in the reign of Edward III. Sir George Vernon, who died in 1561, was known as the " King of the Peak " on account of his hospitality. His daughter Dorothy married John Manners, second son of the earl of Rutland, who is said to have lived for some time in the woods round Haddon Hall, disguised as a gamekeeper, until he persuaded Dorothy to elope with him. On Sir George's death without male issue Haddon passed to John Manners and Dorothy, who lived in the Hall. Their grandson John Manners succeeded to the title of earl of Rutland in 1641, and the duke of Rutland is still lord of the manor. See Victoria County History, Derbyshire; S. Rayner, History and Antiquities of Haddon Hall (1836–1837) ; Haddon Hall, History and Antiquities of Haddon Hall (1867) ; G. le Blanc Smith, Haddon, the Manor, the Hall, its Lords and Traditions (London, 1906).
End of Article: HADDON HALL
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Additional information and Comments

The first recorded instance of the telling of the Dorothy Vernon elopement was by the housekeeper Mrs. Hage to a visitor to Haddon Hall, who wrote it in his diary of 1817. She and her husband retold the story until their deaths about 1840. It was then continued by succeeding housekeepers. Visiting poets, artists, and writers embellished the tale throughout the nineteenth century. As to the truth of the tale, there was probably never a real elopement. It is a creation of novelists that John Manners was sneaking about the grounds looking for Dorothy. There is however a written record from the seventeenth century indicating that the sixth Earl of Shrewsbury, John Manners brother-in-law, influenced George Vernon to allow the marriage. It is suspected that George Vernon favored someone else, possibly a distant relative, John Vernon; this would have kept Haddon Hall under the Vernon family name.
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