Calke Abbey is an 18th-century country house near Ticknall, Derbyshire, England, in the care of the charitable National Trust.
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is the largest membership organization in the United Kingdom.
Join me as we take a tour of an English Country House, frozen in time.
While we’re in the library, fancy a game of Happy Families? (called “Cheery Families” in the mid 19th century).
Created in 1626, the Harpur-Crewe Baronetcy, of Calke Abbey, Derbyshire was a title in the Baronetage of England.
Passed down through ten Baronets, the title became extinct in 1924 when the estate went to the female line and then to the grandson of the last Baronet.
Inheritance tax forced the sale after his death in 1981 and in 1985, the National Trust took possession.
Reminiscent of Mr Darcy in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Sir Henry Crewe the 7th Baronet, became one of the richest land owners in Derbyshire, with an income of, you guessed it, £10,000.
Described as an “unfortunate connection” by his mother Lady Frances because it breached the social conventions of the time, Sir Henry married his mistress, a lady’s maid called Ann or Nany Hawkins.
The Harpur-Crewe Baronets had a fascination with taxidermy, displaying all manner of birds, insects, game, and even prize cattle around the house, some in glass cases and some mounted on walls.
Hinting at the joys of children’s laughter throughout the house at one time are these high chairs for meal times.
How many hours of happiness did this cheerful rocking horse provide?
And at one time, a child’s imagination would be set alight by the magical miniature world of dollhouses.
Related post: The Magical Miniature World of Antique Dollhouses
Sitting patiently on a window ledge, a Piggy Bank waits for its stored change to be used to buy more toys for a rainy day.
To keep the grounds looking immaculate, a host of equipment was needed, including manual mowers, lawn rollers, edge trimmers and other garden tools—all stored just how the gardener left them 100 years ago.
Like the immovable sundial in the grounds, the clock stopped for Calke Abbey. It is locked in a time capsule.
Inhabited by privilege it was, but it was built and cared for by ordinary working folk like you and me.
We need to preserve our heritage because it is our story too.