Skip to content

Calke and Stoneywell Talks Service

A close-up of a group of people enjoying a talk at Petworth, focused on a smiling visitor.
Talks are available in a range of topics | © National Trust Images/David Levenson

Visiting our places isn’t the only way to learn about the unique places we care for. Thanks to a dedicated team of speakers, we offer a Talks Service that brings Calke Abbey and Stoneywell’s stories directly to you. Find a range of topics for each place and information on how to book a talk here.

What is the Talks Service?

Interested in learning more about Calke Abbey or Stoneywell? Our knowledgeable speakers will come directly to your group to deliver a talk on a range of topics, helping us to share detailed and illustrated stories about these places with you.

Some of the talks can be delivered online, including the general talks. Please enquire for more details.

All talks are well researched by passionate volunteers, and the money we raise helps us to look after these special places for generations to come.

How to book a talk

We charge a flat rate of £50 per talk, which goes directly towards looking after Calke Abbey and Stoneywell. For smaller groups, please get in touch to discuss a discount, and for groups over 50, we suggest a fee of £1 per person.

We have a range of well-researched topics available for both Calke Abbey and Stoneywell, listed below. Please choose a topic and let us know your preferred date, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your group.

For all bookings and enquiries, please send us an email or call 01332863822.

Calke talks

All our speakers have an excellent knowledge of the Calke Estate and the Harpur-Crewe family, and offer talks on a wide range of fascinating subjects, including:

  • General talk on Calke
  • The history of Calke’s gardens
  • The family and servants
  • Conservation at Calke
  • Architecture
  • Archaeology
  • The paintings and artists of Calke

Stoneywell talks

To discover more about the Arts and Crafts cottage at Stoneywell or the Gimson family history, book an illustrated talk on one of the following topics:

  • General talk on Stoneywell
  • The garden at Stoneywell
  • The Arts and Crafts Movement and its relationship with Stoneywell
  • Arts and Crafts: Architecture
  • Ernest Gimson: life and work
  • The Gimson story: three generations at Stoneywell
  • Conservation at Stoneywell
  • William Morris
A view of the west side of the house and  a glimpse of the Pleasure Grounds through trees on a sunny day at Calke Abbey

Discover more at Calke Abbey

Find out when Calke Abbey is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

You might also be interested in

A view of the cottage at Stoneywell on a sunny day with red flowers blooming in the foreground and blue skies above


The home of a family who lived and loved the Arts and Crafts


Closed now
A watercolour painting called 'Stoneywell Cottage' by Edward Davies, depicting the cottage nestled into the sloping, rocky garden

History of the cottage at Stoneywell 

Discover how one man’s vision changed a summer house into an Arts and Crafts-inspired family home.

South East View of Calke Abbey, late 19th century painting, English School at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

History of Calke Abbey 

Calke Abbey is the place where time stood still. Discover the history of the 'unstately home' as a religious priory and family home for 12 generations.

The Sitting Room with white walls and wooden floors at Stoneywell, with a chair and couch surrounding the large fireplace, and bookshelves, a desk and typewriter visible

Visiting the cottage at Stoneywell 

Delve into Stoneywell’s collection of Arts and Crafts treasures, from unique handcrafted furniture to a replica cot and a small ceramics collection.

Image shows the Dining Room at Calke Abbey. The dining table is in the centre of the room and the table is laid for a meal.

Things to do in the house at Calke Abbey 

Discover the 'un-stately' home at Calke Abbey, where peeling paint and abandoned rooms vividly portray a period when many country houses didn't survive.

A view of Stoneywell from the garden, with a footpath in the foreground and the cottage framed by trees and hedges

Group visits to Stoneywell 

We welcome group visits to Stoneywell, where you can explore an Arts and Crafts home and garden – find out how to book and what to expect from your group visit here.

A group of visitors enjoying a dawn chorus guided walk in the park at Calke Abbey, focused on a visitor using a pair of binoculars to see the birds

Guided tours at Calke Abbey 

Explore more of Calke Abbey on a guided tour, walk or talk – from behind-the-scenes tours in the house to garden and parkland rambles.