Tours and talks at Kedleston Hall

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Take a trip back in time with our 18th-century costumed housekeeper Mrs Garnett, who died over two centuries ago, after 43 years of impeccable service at Kedleston Hall. Hear about the how the Hall was built and plans and life at the time.

Once the Hall was completed in 1765, visitors were shown around by the housekeeper. From 1766-1809 this was Mrs Garnett, whose portrait by Thomas Barber of Nottingham, taken c.1800, shows her dressed in a fine uniform and carrying a printed catalogue of Sir Nathaniel’s collections.

Duties of a housekeeper

One of the duties of a housekeeper was to show visitors around a house when the owners were absent.

At Kedleston, visitors were welcomed in Caesars' Hall before Mrs Garnett led them upstairs and through the state rooms. Reactions varied – Dr Johnson grumbled, 'It would do excellently for a town hall' while Horace Walpole thought Kedleston was 'in the best taste'.

Meet Mrs Garnett

Two hundred years later, you can meet one of our three Mrs Garnetts and enjoy a ten minute introductory talk in the Hall on most open days. Afterwards you can view her portrait in the Smoking Room. We like to think it is a very good likeness.

Tours of the stables, fishing pavilion and more

If you would like to know even more about life at Kedleston Hall, why not enjoy one of our special tours of the stables, fishing pavilion, pleasure grounds and kitchens.

For information on future talks, lecture lunches and other events please use our events finder.