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Calke Abbey, Derby Oct '10
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hyde
Arrow Calke Abbey, Derby Oct '10 - 03-11-2010, 23:59

ďA place poised somewhere between gentle neglect and downright dereliction, telling the tale of an eccentric family who amassed a huge collection of hidden treasures. The house has been little restored, portraying a period when great country houses struggled to survive.Ē

I know this isnít urbex, but perhaps some people might be interested. Unlike other NT places that have been restored to their former glories, this house has been preserved in all itís peely-paint dereliction. It started life as an Abbey in the 11th century, and since then has been changed and added on to. Between the wars the house was just too expensive to keep, and the family slowly moved out of whole sections of it. What you see today is pretty much exactly how they left it. We spent hours poking about, but itís the abandoned sections that were most interesting. Plus, if you bat your eyelids and smile sweetly you might be allowed into other bits. John (carabeener) had to wait tee hee hee.

ďBy the mid 20th Century much of the house had been abandoned by the family. Most of the servants had been dismissed. Many of the rooms on the north side, which were always the coldest, had been closed off. These rooms were used for the storage of unwanted items. The rooms often became very damp and so would be visited less and less. The second floor of the house was also closed up, with just a corner left inhabited. ď

Most of the shutters in the abandoned areas have been left closed, so itís gloomy and suitably atmospheric. A very enjoyable day if youíre ever in the area and like this kind of thing.

The family were big collectors of various fauna:

A servantís door:

The old ice house

The servantís tunnel from the kitchen to the brewery. God forbid the family should have to sully their eyes with glimpses of the lower classes!

Just a word of warning Ė they get very cross (as in old lady cross which is the worst kind and instantly makes you feel guilty for everything) if you use a tripod, so do it quickly

All this country is hollow. Could you strike it with some gigantic hammer it would boom like a drum - Arthur Conan Doyle
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