They call it the un-stately home. Only a very tiny part of the interior is restored – mostly it’s as found, preserved as left, unbelievably cluttered and in places semi-derelict. Spooky? The best bit is the last – how do we escape? Through dark cellars and tunnels – is there light at the end?
Sounds like “cork”… Wednesday – a fine a sunny day. It’ll be too wet underfoot for a walk – there’s been a good deal of heavy rain. How about a visit to Calke Abbey?
There’s a lot to see here – too much for a single visit. There are some splendid outbuildings and a wonderful walled garden – let’s take a look at those first…
That’s how its owners, the National Trust, describe Calke Abbey. Here, they talk of preservation not restoration – to provide a reminder of the state many such houses were in, at the end of their existence, with their last residents living in just a tiny proportion of the house. Preservation of the last lived-in parts of Calke means displaying the amazing collection of stuffed birds and other creatures; the disused parts are shown complete with their stored clutter.
There’s far too much here to take in on a single visit – we were beginning to suffer from overload when we left the walled gardens and headed for home. We’ll have to come again.