Hey ho! Off to the stables we go

Promotional image for Kedleston's summer in the stables

For the first time, this summer we've opened up Kedleston Hall's spectacular stables and courtyard for all sorts of activities and a chance to take a peek at this usually hidden gem.

Open every day 10am - 4pm until 2 September 2018 there's  fun, games and activities for families, tours and talks for the ever curious, and an interesting history to uncover. 

Horses no longer reside in Kedleston's stables but you might spot this friendly fellow on your visit
Woven willow horse head in the stables at Kedleston Hall
Horses no longer reside in Kedleston's stables but you might spot this friendly fellow on your visit

Play in the mini stables

Head to the mini stables to test your horsemanship skills and take out one of the hobby horses for a ride. On certain days* you can join the family tour and try out for a stablehand - can you groom a horse, sweep the stables? (Don't worry, we won't really be putting you to work.) These special tours are a chance to find out more about how the stables were run and what everyone did. 

*Ask at visitor reception about what tours are happening when you visit. 

Take out one of our horses for a ride - although they're more of the hobby kind these days
Children playing with hobby horses
Take out one of our horses for a ride - although they're more of the hobby kind these days

Explore the Great Arch’d Stable

Kedleston’s great stable block was built shortly after the mansion was completed in 1769, almost 250 years ago. The main feature is an impressive arched ceiling stable, large enough to fit up to 20 horses inside (think of all that poo!), and the building remains relatively untouched. The horses that were housed here were treated like royality and, built to impress, the stables would have been shown to visitors and guests. 

A rare sight, the splendid vaulted ceiling to Kedleston's Great Arch'd Stable
The spectacular vaulted ceiling of Kedleston's Great Arched Stable
A rare sight, the splendid vaulted ceiling to Kedleston's Great Arch'd Stable

From the inner courtyard of the stable you can see the ways in which other buildings have been changed, repurposed and reinvented over the last 250 years. From the brew house to the potting shed, the ice house to the slaughterhouse this space is filled with a rich and unexplored history.

Robert Adam's design for Kedleston’s Stables, 1759
The plan and elevation by Robert Adam for the stables
Robert Adam's design for Kedleston’s Stables, 1759

Take a tour

Find out more about the wider stables complex and how it has been used over time on one of our regular tours. These aren't on everyday so ask at Visitor Reception when you arrive if you're interested.

Alfresco refreshments

Ice cream, cold drinks, tea, a decent cup of barrista coffee, sandwiches, cakes and crisps can all be bought from our outdoor catering most days.

Please be aware that the full catering offer won't always be available but alternatives include the restaurant and outdoor kiosk, or you could bring a picnic to enjoy in the park or pleasure ground.

Treat yourself to an ice cream as part of your visit
Girl enjoying an ice cream outdoors
Treat yourself to an ice cream as part of your visit

How would you like to see the stables story told?

We'd also like to hear from you how you might like to see the stables story told in the future. There's the chance to share your thoughts and ideas on one of our chalkboards.