Pictures of Calke Abbey
About Calke Abbey
Calke Abbey was built between 1701-1703. The building, in the Baroque style, was built for Sir John Harpur. It is an extraordinary house, almost completely without adornment to both the exterior and interior. Instead of the normal collections of fine furniture, priceless paintings and objects d'art, the visitor is treated to a fascinating display of stuffed birds, mammals, fossils and other natural history relics, all laid out in rooms untouched since the 1880's.
The collection is the result of the house passing down a line of eccentric owners, all who had a deep and abiding interest in the natural world around them and sought to preserve their findings. There are many curiosities to be seen, plus the fun of invisible corridors, underground tunnels and a secret garden! Then suddenly, almost as if in a change of scene, in one of the bed chambers your eye's are drawn to a superb Chinese Silk bed from the 18th century.
Crippling death duties led to the house being transferred into the care of the National Trust. The surrounding parkland is managed with an eye to nature conservation, there are historic oaks, walled gardens, a restored Orangery and a deer park.
Other buildings on Calke Abbey estate include a church and farm buildings with animals. There is a well stocked shop, a cafe for refreshments, and during the season several special event days are held, each with a different theme. The house is also available for corporate events and functions.
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