An un-stately home

An un-stately home

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As normal I have taken a ridiculous amount of! So go make yourself massive cup of tea, raid the biscuit tin, get cosy under your favourite blanket and welcome to Calke Abbey.

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I had never been to Calke Abbey in Derbyshire before but when I read that it is a stately home with a difference I was intrigued. The house itself is still as the last owner left it, it’s not dressed for visitors like other stately homes and apparently there was a couple of collectors in the family.

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With the last of the Autumn sunshine I decided to walk through the park land and look for the church.

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I found the church on top of a hill ( I guess to be closer to God ) it was a little strange, I was the only person around and it was still rather early. I could have heard a pin drop, although I’m not religious I do think churches are beautiful, churches see people’s most happiest of times, the walls have heard thousands of confessions and the floors have been soaked by people’s tears.

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And the stained glass is always beautiful, imagine this being your full time job.

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Eventually I emerged to bright sunshine and headed off towards the garden, I don’t think I have ever seen purple berries before but I know if I was a bird they would be my favourite.

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Made up of several little gardens each with there very own door way it felt like a maze of beautiful little secret gardens ( still one of my favourite books and still 20 years after reading it makes me want my very own secret garden ).

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The first garden I stepped into was a little tropical oasis hidden behind six foot walls, not the garden I was expecting as I stepped through the little green door.

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I do love a colourful Autumn garden, I just wish we could skip winter and head straight into the start of spring.

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There was doors everywhere all leading to different gardens, hidden rooms and underground tunnels you could absolutely get lost for hours and hours.

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Excuse my face here, I was just getting over the last of vertigo and looking a little tired.

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The last of the summer wild flowers were coming to a end still holding on to the sunshine and dancing in the cool Autumn air.

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If you look very closely you will see some very young deers and a papa deer that wasn’t very happy to see me ( don’t worry I was behind a fence ). Still I don’t think I have ever heard such a horrific noise as a deer making a warning noise it terrified me. And I quickly let them get on with their day.

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I spent a couple of houses wandering around the gardens and parkland taking in the crisp Autumn air and enjoying the last of the October sunshine ( after all winter seems to last forever in the UK ).

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These pictures don’t give the house justice, I have visited so many stately homes I’ve lost count but this is certainly one of the most beautiful  have ever seen.

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As the families money disappeared the number of rooms they used grew smaller and smaller and only a few rooms are presented in a way you would imagine. This room was on the first floor and I can’t tell you just big the room was it absolutely took my breath, in height alone my house would have easily fit into the room.

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This has to be the largest collection of taxidermy birds I have seen! The collector was truly obsessed with collecting animals.

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As you venture further into the house the rooms become more of a dumping ground, I guess you never have to throw anything away when you have a 100 rooms to hide things in.

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The longer I spent in this house the creeper it felt as if there was a dark secret hiding against the lost treasures, it felt as if the house of was watching you.

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I absolutely loved seeing the house this way, in fact it has to be in my top three houses to visit ( Chatsworth house has been my favourite since I first visited when I was ten years old ). I felt this spoke more about history then seeing a well presented house, I couldn’t imagine the vast amounts of money today that it would take to run such a grand house.

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I have no idea how you would remember where you left anything, every time you put something down you would have to make a treasure map.

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Eventually I left Calke Abbey and headed further into Derbyshire to explore another beautiful house which I promise I will share very soon.

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