This aerial view of Calke Abbey shows only a portion of the outbuildings and park belonging to the property. The gardens and pleasure grounds would be in the foreground if the picture was extended.
Some of the outbuildings have been converted for the use of National Trust visitors -- the necessary, parking, cafe, gift shop, and so forth. Note the sign above, "Repaired not restored, Calke is the 'Un-stately' home."
An unidentified ruin on the grounds...what was it?
The stables...imagine what fine horses once lived here. Click on the photos below for full size versions.
In the Pleasure Grounds, the Grotto was built in 1809.
There are many lovely walks for visitors.
Fruit and vegetables in abundance...the orchard and kitchen garden.
Adjacent was the flower garden, full of gorgeous dahlias in September.
It is a unique opportunity to visit Calke Abbey and see what happens to stately homes in decline. I am certain that the NT finds this experiment worthwhile, and might even inspire some contributions. More about Country Houses and their Fate coming soon.
Victoria Hinshaw, Author