Explore the un-stately home

Sir Vauncey's bedroom at Calke Abbey, Midlands

When the house was handed to the National Trust in 1985, many of its rooms had been adandoned for decades and were in a state of rapid decline. We've decided not to restore these rooms, but rather preserve them as they were found.

A time capsule

Calke Abbey is the house where time stood still – vividly portraying a period in the twentieth century when many country houses did not survive to tell their story.

Rather than restoring Calke to its former glory, we've undertaken necessary repairs to halt the decay of the house and its collections. As you wander through the mansion, you'll discover adandoned rooms, peeling wallpaper and a vast collection of strange and unique objects – presented exactly as we found them.

An old storm lamp in the Smithy at Calke Abbey
An old storm lamp in the Smithy at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

A house of hidden stories

Discover the tales of an eccentric and reclusive family who amassed a huge collection of hidden treasures. Learn the history of these fascinating and often strange possessions, which includes stuffed animals, family portraits and the stunning state bed.

Begin your journey in the entrance hall and explore the well-kept rooms at the front of the house, including the grand dining room, the library and the saloon, where you'll find an assortment of fascinating objects.

As you make your way towards the servants' quarters, experience the sense of abandonment in the school room and Sir Vauncey's childhood bedroom. Discover hidden stories and forgotten spaces in this unique house.

Visitors in the library at Calke Abbey
Visitors in the library at Calke Abbey, Midlands

The house begins its winter slumber

The house is now closed for the winter period, and will re-open in the spring of 2018. Behind closed doors, the house team will be undertaking vital conservation work, including a deep clean of the visitor route.

You may catch a glimpse of the house this winter at some of our Christmas events. Cosy up by the fire in the Entrance Hall, and see the tunnels all lit up in festive lights. Details of all our Christmas events can be found on the What's On page of the website.