Feel like the first to enter after many years © National Trust / John Parkinson

Feel like the first to enter after many years

A house in decline

What makes this house special is its survival in an era of mid 20th century decline.

Calke is a house of contrast - your journey will take you from the grandeur of the saloon to the decline of the kitchen.

Essential repairs have been made to the fabric of the building but inside we endeavour to present the place as it was found.

Secret spaces

Calke Abbey

Calke has many secret spaces.

Enter the cellars that lead to a world of little light.

Walk tentatively through the servants' tunnel and climb the steps of the Brew House.

Bountiful books

We have one of the largest libraries in any National Trust place including:

  • A family library assembled over nearly 300 years
  • The personal library of a distant cousin, the Victorian Egyptologist Sir John Gardner Wilkinson.

Bed in a box

The state bed is one of the great treasures of Calke

One of the greatest treasures at Calke is this superb 18th-century state bed.

It was found in its original crate, having never been unpacked.

As a result its Chinese silk hangings sparkle like the day they were made.

Search our treasures

Did you know you can search the entire collection at Calke from the comfort of your own home?

Take a look at our collections website - you can search for items of specific interest and try and spot them on your visit.

Beasts of Calke

Where else will you spot the beasts of Calke?

Where else will you spot the beasts of Calke?

Obsessive collectors, the Harpur Crewe family amassed a huge collection of taxidermy.

Sir Vauncey had a particular enthusiasm for collecting stuffed birds. See what species you can spot. You can't miss them - rooms like the bird lobby above were dedicated to this popular Victorian hobby.