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

Explore the un-stately home

The house is open from 4 March to 31 October, 11am – 5pm.

In the mornings from 11am to 12.30pm, take an opportunity to see the ground-floor rooms, including the family apartments, which are open to visitors for the first time this year. How would you like to see these rooms presented? Have a wander round these fascinating rooms and tell us your thoughts.

The main house opens at 12.30pm (not including the family apartments). Admission is by timed ticket as the house can only support a certain number of visitors at one time – on busy days, we recommend popping into the Ticket Office for your house ticket before you explore the rest of the estate.

With each visit to the un-stately home, you're helping us to preserve Calke's unique history. It's thanks to your support that we can continue to conserve the estate for ever, for everyone.