This year we are visiting some of the exciting historical sites and house of Derbyshire. We depart on Friday 11th May and return on Monday 14th May. For our full programme of activities click on the picture of Hardwick Hall, home of Bess of Hardwick a most remarkable woman during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
Day 1: We start our visit at Calke Abbey, a National Trust house described as the in-stately of all of our stately homes. The house was built in 1704 in the Baroque style for Sir John Harper on the site of a former priory. Through marriage the family name changed to Crewe then Harper Crewe. Their family wealth increased dramatically through marriage and throughout the generations of the family they became eccentric, reclusive and fanatical collectors. Sadly the family fortunes declined and the house fell into disrepair as room upon room was closed to save money. We will get the chance to explore this house, preserved in its final state when it was given to the care of the National Trust.
We finish our day visiting Derby Cathedral, upgraded to cathedral status in 1927 to create the seat for the Bishop of Derby. Founded in the mid 10th Century as a Collegiate church it is now a Grade 1 listed building.
Day 2: We dip our toes into modern social and economic history with a visit to the National Tramway Museum. Here we will follow the rise and fall of this urban form of transport from its early horse drawn days, into steam, electric tram and trolley buses. In Europe trams remained very popular and many cities still operate them today. Some of our cities are now introducing a modern tramway to help keep our inner cities free of heavy traffic. Love them or hate them trams formed an integral part of our inner city lives.
The afternoon we get the chance to visit Bakewell, the home of the famous Bakewell Pudding. Here you’ll be free to explore this old town and perhaps sample some of the delicious produce with a welcome cup of tea or coffee.
Day 3: We venture back in time to the early days of the Industrial Revolution with a visit to Cromford Mill, the first water powered cotton spinning mill built by Richard Arkwright. Arkwright is recognised as one of the founding fathers of the mechanised cotton industry which grew out of this mill, now a World Heritage site.
In the afternoon we venture further back in time to the days of the Tudor and Elizabethan dynasties with a visit to Hardwick Hall. Here we can follow the story of the Hardwick family and of one of their children Elizabeth Hardwick who was to marry into the Cavendish family of Chatsworth House fame. We will discover that Elizabeth’s life was tragic and difficult but through her tenacity and determination, and four marriages she eventually built the new Hardwick Hall in 1590 and firmly stamped her name, ‘Bess of Hardwick’ on the house and countryside.
Day 4: We complete this story of the history of parts of Derbyshire by visiting the house of one of the most powerful families in the county, the Cavendish’s of Chatsworth House. Here we can link the stories of the Cavendish family, Beth of Hardwick and the family of Calke Abbey. We will explore the 30 rooms in house with a guided tour and get the chance to walk through the extensive gardens. Our visit to Chatsworth ends with a Cream Tea and cakes before we head back to Huntingdon.
For further details contact Rosemary Smith (email@example.com) or 01480 350127