Friday, 2 July 2010

Things To See: Perfect Symmetry At Kedleston Hall

Kedleston Hall, out in the Derbyshire countryside, is one of my favourite historic houses. Outside and in, the house is a testament to the artistry of it's architect and interior designer, Robert Adam. 

Commissioned by Lord Curzon in 1759, the building has a beautiful symmetry that draws in the eye. Its neoclassical theme is evident in the arches, columns and statues; a style of architectural design that Robert Adam was (and is) famed for. At Kedleston, Adam created the epitome of the neoclassical mansion. The interior is liberally peppered with both obvious and more subtle classical references. They are to be found in the paintings, the furnishings, the floors and the ceiling mouldings.

One of my favourite things to do at Kedleston is to stand at the top of this staircase and look out on the parkland beyond. From whatever point of view, the house and it's sculpted surroundings are gorgeous and impressive. I always think that walking down this curving staircase would feel much better in an evening gown. Other favourite things to do at Kedleston include admiring the collection of costumes on display there from the film The Duchess (a large part of which was filmed here) as well as the jewel encrusted gown worn at a ball in 1903 by Lady Curzon. It looks unbelievably heavy, but in the low light of the exhibition room, it glitters and casts a mesmerising spell which permeates the whole house.

Photos by me. For more information on Kedleston Hall and its collection, click here.


  1. BIG evening gown, that's exactly what I thought on seeing that staircase ;-) The architecture is just beautiful and there's something very elegant and "easy on the eye" about perfect symetry - I think it makes one feel secure...if that makes any sense. Have a lovely week, Love from London x

  2. What a glorious staircase. I love how you captured the play of light and shadow from the rails. Beautiful!

  3. Mademoiselle Poirot- A big evening gown is exactly what's needed! The symmetry does make you feel secure, I think because the lines are so soothing.

    Ingrid- Thanks! It was a lovely day for capturing the light :)