As you may or may not know, Wendy and I are members of the National Trust and we try to visit as many of their properties throughout the year.
This House was completed in 1765 for the 5th Baronet (later 1st Lord Scarsdale) Sir Nathaniel Curzon by the Scottish architect Robert Adam. He inherited the estate in 1758 aged 32 from his family who had lived on this land since the 12th century.
Before he could build this country pile, Nathaniel had to move an entire village from the estate, with the only thing remaining in place being the Norman Church.
As with most country estates, there are usually some grazing animals around, be they sheep, cattle or deer. This friendly chap greeted us walking from the car to entrance.
The impressive north front is the entrance, but not up the steps as you would think. No, the entrance is a little door below the balcony. This was and is the everyday entrance to the house. You can see the doorway just by the black sign between the steps.
Once through Caesars Hall, named for its bronzed bust’s of Roman emperors, you climb stairs to the massive Marble Hall. Resembling the atrium in a Roman Villa, it rises the full height of the house and is dominated by 20 columns of veined alabaster, each 25 feet high. They were quarried from Curzon’s brother’s estate at Ratcliffe-on-Soar and fluted once erected in situ by local craftsmen.
The floor of the Marble Hall depicts a Hyacinth, and is of Hopton Wood stone inlaid with white Italian marble, which was laid two years before completion of the house in 1765.
You couldn’t smoke on the front steps in old times!
We thoroughly enjoyed the visit although not one of my favourites, in the words of the great dictionary maker, Dr Johnson, “It would do excellently for a town hall”