Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, July 1836

Henry Alford

Not fond displays of cost, nor pampered train
Of idle menials, me so much delight,
Nor mirrored halls, nor roofs with gilding bright,
Nor all the foolery of the rich and vain,
As these time-honoured walls, crowning the plain
With their gray battlements; within bedight
With ancient trophies of baronial might,
And figures dim, inwoven in the grain
Of dusky tapestry. I love to muse,
In present peace, on days of pomp and strife;
The daily struggles of our human life,
Seen through Time's veil, their selfish colouring lose,
As here the glaring beams of outer day
Through ivy-shadowed oriels softened play.

Haddon Hall is a stately home owned by the Dukes of Rutland. The manor dates back to at least the 11th century and the current house dates mostly from the 16th century. The house fell into disrepair until the 1920s when decades of restoration work began.

Haddon has featured as a location in a number of feature films, including The Princess Bride and Elizabeth.