Kirby Hall - English Heritage
LIGHT HISTORY OF KIRBY HALL
"Kirby Hall is one of England’s greatest Elizabethan houses, once owned by Sir Christopher Hatton, Lord Chancellor to Queen Elizabeth I."
Construction on the building began in 1570. The house is now in a semi-ruined state, but the Great Hall and state rooms remain intact. The gardens are elaborate and aside from the peacocks that roam through them, they also feature statues and urns which, have been recently restored. It was owned by several, different men, all named Sir Christopher Hatton.
The first, Sir Christopher Hatton had numerous other houses and left Kirby only partly finished. By the turn of the 17th century this Sir Christopher Hatton was forced to sell Kirby to the crown;however, when he died the house passed to a distance relative, also named Sir Christopher Hatton. Under his ownership Queen Anne of Denmark and James I England (they were married) visited on at least 4 occasions. Then Sir Christopher III (later Baron Hatton) owned it and made drastic renovations. Finally when he passed in 1670, he left his estate to his son, Sir Christopher Hatton IV.
NOT TO MISS
The peacocks and peahens!
It was not 100% clear to us when we first arrived so we wanted to point out, DON'T MISS going the inside the mansion! Once you enter through the main courtyard, continue until you see a metal curtain. Enter through it and you will be brought into a fully enclosed, semi-maintained area of Kirby Hall. English Heritage sites usually sway more on the side of "ruins", but with Kirby Hall they have preserved the walls, windows, ceilings and floors; in one room you can even see the old wallpaper.
There's not a lot nearby Kirby Hall, but if you're out in the East Midlands, then we recommend either...
The Old White Hart in Lyddington. Located 15 minutes from Kirby Hall (put in google maps NN17 3EN to LE15 9LR for directions). The pub is lovely and although the building's structure dating back to the 1600s, the inside is well-maintained and has the feel of a slightly up-market country pub.
Outside offers seating in two separate garden spaces. They have a fabulous menu and do a Sunday Hog roast if you fancy traditional English Sunday roasts. They also do wonderful coffee. When we were there, our cappucinnos came with small servings of complimentary fudge on the side. Yum!
The Old White Hart is perfect for families or couples. We would highly recommend a meal here, or at the very least, a stop for a coffee or a pint. A side note, there is another English Heritage site (Lyddington Bede House) just a few hundred yards from the pub. Frankly, unless you are an English Heritage member, for the entrance price, we wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see it.
We usually enter the postcode into google maps/SAT-NAV for directions to places we venture to around the Midlands.
If you are not keen on this sort of navigation, then your best bet is to visit the official website for directions. The link is HERE
PRICE: as you will see below, for adults (unless you are an English Heritage member) it is £8.50 to enter
HOURS: they vary due to the season. View the picture below for further information.
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