The history of Kedleston Hall

A view of the river and bridge and hall at Kedleston, Derbyshire
A grand design by Robert Adam National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra

Designed by the famous architect Robert Adam, Kedleston was built for Sir Nathaniel Curzon in 1765 as a house to rival Chatsworth. Intended as 'a temple of the arts' and as the location for grand entertainments, the main house was never meant to be a family home, but a canvas on which to showcase the finest paintings, sculpture and furniture.

Go back in time

As soon as you arrive you're invited to take a trip back in time to the 1760s, when wealth and power enabled the creation of this magnificent neo-classical mansion and beautiful landscaped park.

Sir Nathaniel meets Robert Adam

Soon after he inherited Kedleston in 1758, Sir Nathaniel Curzon met a young architect called Robert Adam, who had recently returned from three years studying in Italy and who shared his enthusiasm for ancient Rome and the principles of classical design.
Sir Nathaniel had already demolished his grandfather’s house and, while he was initially commissioned to redesign the parkland, by April 1760 Adam had sole responsibility for the design of the new Hall and interiors.

A showpiece for Sir Nathaniel's collections

Kedleston was designed not as a family home but to be a showpiece palace for lavish entertaining and displaying Sir Nathaniel’s fantastic collections of paintings and sculpture.
It was Adam’s first major building commission, making his name and inspiring many other buildings around the world. Visitors were welcomed from the moment the house was finished in 1765.

Discover the Hall

Kedleston’s fabulous state floor remains much as it was when Adam designed it, retaining it’s original collections of paintings, sculpture and furnishings.
On the ground floor you can see some of the changes that took place in the early 20th century including the creation of the Eastern Museum, displaying objects collected by Lord Curzon on his travels in Asia and while Viceroy of India (1899-1905).
The West Wing housed the servants’ quarters and kitchens (now the offices and restaurant), while the East Wing remains, as it always was, the private residence of the Curzon family.