National Trust: National Treasures is a private tour of a selection of The National Trust's spectacular houses, castles and abbeys. Here, the great Baroque mansion near Derby: Calke Abbey.
- An artsworld production
- An exclusive private tour of a National Trust property
- Approximately 1 hour running time
In a world of late trains, lousy weather and international sporting losses, it's easy to forget the things Britain is uniquely good at. Constitutional monarchies, for example, or Marmite, depending on your point of view. But perhaps best of all is The National Trust. Where would we be without the Trust's meticulously-preserved historic houses, beautifully-tended gardens or, (let's face it) diet-endingly delicious cream teas?
The National Trust was founded in 1895 by Victorian philanthropists. Over a century later, it now looks after over 612,000 acres of countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 700-plus miles of coastline and over 200 houses and gardens, monuments and mills, and churches and chapels of outstanding interest and importance.
This series, National Trust: National Treasuresexamines a selection of these properties in detail. It takes you on a private guided tour of the selected properties, charting each of their often colourful histories and revealing a selection of their art treasures - from 17th-century tapestries and Renaissance stained glass to sculptures by Henry Moore and oriental rugs - with the help of the Trust's many and varied experts. Atmospheric, lavishly-shot and with great attention to detail and illuminating explanations from members of the properties' staff, it's almost as good a good as being there - although of course, you do have to provide your own scones and jam…
Calke Abbey is a baroque mansion, situated near Derby, whose construction began in 1701. Set in a stunning landscape park, it has become famous as a graphic illustration of the English country house in decline.
Little restored, the house contains the spectacular natural history collection of the Harpur Crewe family, as well as a magnificent 18th-century state bed and interiors that are essentially unchanged since the 1880s. The open parkland is managed for its nature conservation value and the attractive grounds feature a beautiful walled garden, including a flower garden, physic garden and Auricula Theatre as well as an interesting collection of garden buildings.