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Visiting the hall at Kedleston

Two visitors looking up at the domed white and gold ceiling of the saloon at Kedleston Hall
The saloon | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Kedleston Hall is one of the finest and most complete examples of an 18th-century show-palace and parkland in Britain. Step inside and discover the Curzon family's collection of fine art, furniture, and Asian objects. Here’s what to look out for when you visit the hall.

Planning your visit to the Hall

The House at Kedleston Hall is open everyday, 11am - 4pm (last entry 3.15pm.)

Current exhibition - Robert Adam designs for Kedleston Hall

The house at Kedleston Hall was designed by the architect Robert Adam. Built between 1759 -1765 as a house to rival Chatsworth it was intended as 'a temple of the arts' and as the location for grand entertainments.

A selection of facsimiles (exact copies) of Robert Adam's drawings are now on display in the Hall. Explore the original designs for Kedleston and compare them with what you can see today. It is also an opportunity to see alternative designs for the Hall interiors and exteriors. Kedleston houses an extremely rare collection of Robert Adam's original designs, offering a unique insight into how his first major masterpiece was created. This exhibition is currently on display throughout the house.

In addition, there is also a display within The Museum continuing the legacy of the 2023 exhibition ‘My Adornment is My Power.’ It shares some elements of last year’s exhibition exploring themes of colonialism, power and female adornment.

Picture of an architectural drawing of South Front of Kedleston Hall
Design of the South Front of Kedleston house in Derbyshire by Robert Adam | © National Trust Images

The state rooms at Kedleston Hall

Rooms on the State floor (first floor) when open to visitors, are accessible by stairs only.

From the moment you ascend to the State Floor you're transported back to 18th-century opulence. These rooms were designed to showcase the family's wealth and power, and to display their collection of art and furniture. Restored over 30 years, the state floor reflects architect Robert Adam's original vision for Kedleston.

Alongside the family portraits and gilded furniture, make sure to take in the architecture when you're exploring the hall at Kedleston. Even the ceilings are meticulously designed, from the dome of the saloon to the intricately patterned alcove of the dining room.

The Museum at Kedleston

Why are these objects here?

Kedleston Hall has over 1,000 objects from across the Asian continent. This collection was brought together by George Nathanial Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston (1859-1925) who inherited the Hall in 1916. Curzon travelled extensively across Asia and in 1899 became the Viceroy of India, making him the highest British representative in colonial India.

Where are they from?

Once known as the ‘Indian Museum’ and later the ‘Eastern Museum’, the collection includes objects from countries as diverse as Japan and Turkey, Korea and Nepal. The largest group of objects originate from India, and reflect the period when Curzon was Viceroy (1899-1905). The collection ranges from tourist souvenirs to diplomatic gifts, commissioned pieces and personal items.

What is happening now?

The museum at Kedleston was established in 1927 in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The mode of display and the labelling reflect the period in which it was created.

Research is now underway to conserve and inform a re-presentation of the objects. There are many things we do not know about this collection, numerous questions to be answered and stories to unravel. How and where Curzon acquired the objects is one important question. So too, is their cultural, religious, and artistic significance.

Over the coming months, different partners will help us re-present objects selected from the museum. By shining a light on small groups of objects we hope to explore different stories, spark conversations, and uncover new connections.

A view of a glass display cabinet which contains a variety of objects in the Eastern Museum at Kedleston Hall
The Eastern Museum at Kedleston Hall | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Access to the Hall

The main entrance to the Hall is through a tall gateway and down a slightly sloping path. Visitors who require step free access can get to the hall by using a signposted gate at the rear side of the restaurant. The step free route into the hall will take you through Trophy Corridor and past the entrance to the shop.

Manual wheelchairs are available for use on the first floor.

Highlights of the collection

  • A collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century books, which form at least part of Lord Curzon’s working library
  • A magnificent collection of furniture, including pieces designed by Robert Adam and John Linnell
  • Family portraits, and Old Master pictures, including works by Luca Giordano, Benedetto Lutti and Aelbert Cuyp
  • An extensive collection of original architectural drawings for Kedleston by Robert Adam (not currently on display).
  • Lady Mary Curzon's stunning peacock dress, produced by Indian craftsmen and made into a gown by the Parisian House of Worth and worn at the 1903 Delhi Durbar (please note, the dress is currently 'resting' and won't be on display).
Cows in the parkland with Kedleston Hall in the background

Discover more at Kedleston Hall

Find out when Kedleston Hall is open, how to get here, things to see and do and more.

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