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Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

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An excerpt from the beginning: HADDON HALL is undoubtedly the most attractive, as it certainly is one of the most interesting, of all the ancient mansions of England; and none throughout the length and breadth of the land have been more fertile in subjects for the artist or in theme for the writer. The walls of the Academy and of other galleries are hung year by year with pictures and studies of old Haddon, and poets innumerable have descanted on its beauties and dilated on the historic stories with which its history abounds. Situate in one of the most picturesque, if not literally the most beautiful, of our English Shires; absolutely perfect as an example of the fine old baronial halls of our ancestors; full of historical and legendary interest; rich in interesting architectural details, in carvings, in rare armorial decorations, and in remains of the tapestry and other "departed glories" of its former lords; surrounded by scenery of the most lovely description, and rendered easily accessible by road and rail from every part of the kingdom, it is not surprising that Haddon Hall is visited annually by "thousands and tens of thousands" of people, and that in America it is regarded as one of the places in the " Old Country" which no visitors, even for a week, to the classic land of their history, should neglect to see, examine, and be prepared to converse or write about on their return. Charmingly situated as it is in a luxuriant and well-wooded vale, amid the grand old hills of Derbyshire, with the lovely river Wye—the attraction and delight of all anglers—running serpent-like in its progress at its base, Haddon is indeed a place to be visited and to be enjoyed by people of intelligence; it is a place for the tourist to see and remember, and for the artist, the antiquary, the historian, or the naturalist to linger at and enjoy. Haddon Hall is distant about seven miles from Matlock Bath, one of the most delightful of places for a summer sojourn, and about twice that distance from Buxton, perhaps the most fashionable, as it certainly is the most cheerful, and, we believe, the most healthful, of all the Baths of England. Its waters are as efficacious, in certain ailments, as are those of Southern Germany; while the surrounding district is so grand and beautiful, so happily mingling the sublime and the graceful, as to compete, and by no means unfavourably, with the hills and valleys that border the distant Rhine. The poet, the novelist, the traveller, the naturalist, the sportsman, and the antiquary have found appropriate themes in Derbyshire: in its massive rocks— "Tors," as they are locally called—and deep dells; its pasture lands on mountain slopes; its rapid, yet never broad, rivers, which delight the angler; its crags and caves; its rugged and ragged or wooded steeps; above all, its relics of those earlier days when Briton, Roman, Saxon, and Norman held alternate sway over the rich lands and prolific mines of this lavishly-endowed county; and of a later time, when shrewd monks planted themselves beside the clear streams and rich meadows, to which they bequeathed magnificent ruins to tell of intellectual and material power in the time of their vigorous and prosperous strength.