Built for the Harpur family in 1703, Calke Abbey (often called The House That Time Forgot) has remained virtually unaltered since the death of the last baronet, Sir Vauncey Harpur Crewe in 1924. With peeling paintwork and overgrown courtyards, Calke Abbey tells the story of the dramatic decline of a country house estate. The house and stables are little restored, with many abandoned areas vividly portraying a period in the 20th century when numerous country houses did not survive to tell their story.
Discover the tales of an eccentric family who amassed a vast collection of hidden treasures. Visit the beautiful, yet faded, walled gardens and explore the orangery, auricula theatre and the kitchen gardens.
Owned and managed by the National Trust, Calke Abbey is set in beautiful parkland containing ponds, ancient oaks and open pasture.
Calke deer park contains a herd of over one hundred fallow and red deer. The large parkland trees scattered throughout the park are mainly oaks and are remnants of a vast forest that historically covered much of this area. These ‘veteran’ oaks are important for the invertebrates (beetles, flies and bugs) that thrive on them. This is because of the amount of dead timber that occurs both on standing trees and on fallen limbs or trunks on the ground.
Much of Calke Park is a National Nature Reserve (NNR) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Look out for parkland birds like nuthatch, tree-creeper, little owls and all three species of British woodpeckers. Within the park, areas of bracken are being controlled to allow grasses and herbs to come through. These areas are grazed by longhorn cattle during the autumn and part of the winter.
Toilets are open year round from dawn to dusk. Opening times for the restaurant, shop and Calke Abbey itself vary. Dogs are not permitted in the house or formal gardens but are allowed on leads within the estate.
Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/calke for details.
On site toilets, restaurant/cafe (seating 180), licensed bar, gift shop, picnic area, site ranger/tour guide available - pre booking required (please contact for prices).
Designated disabled toilets, designated disabled parking
House, Sat - Wed (22 Feb - 2 Nov), 12.30pm - 5pm
Garden, Daily, 10am - 5pm
Restaurant & Shop, Daily (Mar - Oct), 10am - 5pm
Restaurant & Shop, Daily (Nov - Feb), 10am - 4pm
Calke Park and National Nature Reserve, Daily, 7.30am - 7.30pm (dusk if earlier)
End of Era Tours, Thurs & Fri (22 Feb - 2 Nov), 11am - 4pm
Whole Estate, 25 December, Closed
Please contact for prices:
3.6m height barrier. Alternative entrance can be aranged upon request for group visits in coaches.