Visit: Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
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This major baroque house, built for the Harper Crewe family in 1701-4 caused a sensation when it was handed over to the National Trust. The 'fanatical collectors' of this eccentric family had never thrown anything away and had retreated into smaller and smaller areas as the cost of maintaining their ancestors' grand house grew larger and larger. The Trust had not attempted to restore the rooms but conserves them 'as a graphic demonstration of the English Country House in decline'.
Everything is there from important paintings to the tools needed for its upkeep. The climax is the State Bed with its magnificent embroidered silk hangings found packed away and never used, now on display in all its glory.
There is an electric buggy service to the features in the Park and walled garden.
Please bring your National Trust cards for free entry.