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Calke Abbey House and Estate


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 for details.

Description of Facilities

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).

Disabled Facilities:

Designated disabled toilets, designated disabled parking

Loads to see and do key

Accepts Credit Cards Accepts Credit Cards
Baby Changing Facilities Baby Changing Facilities
Car Parking Car Parking
Children Welcome Children Welcome
Children's Play Area Children's Play Area
Coach Parking Coach Parking
Disabled Parking Disabled Parking
Disabled Toilets Disabled Toilets
Dogs Allowed on Leads Only Dogs Allowed on Leads Only
Educational Activities Educational Activities
Gift Shop Gift Shop
Information Centre Information Centre
Licenced Licenced
Picnic Area Picnic Area
Toilets Toilets
Walking Trails Walking Trails

Upcoming Events

Showing 1 - 10 of 35 / View all


Ranger Ramble - The Ticknall Limeyards
03 March 2016
From 14:00

Join a ranger and find out about the Ticknall Limeyards and Tramway, two important areas of industrial archaeology, on the Calke Estate.  Meet at the ticket office for lthis brisk two hour walk.

Calke Alive 18th Century
12 March 2016
12:30 to 17:00

The house is in its heyday; come and see some of the visitors the family are entertaining and the staff that are looking after them.

Bonham's Valuation Day
16 March 2016
11:00 to 14:00

Bring your items to be valued by experts from Bonham's Auctioneers. Valuations £2 per item or 3 for £5. Nornal admission applies.

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt
25 March 2016 to 27 March 2016
11:00 to 15:30

Follow the Easter trail and hunt down the clues that lead to your Cadbury's chocolate prize. Sponsored by Cadbury's. £3.50 per child - children must be accompanied by an adult. Normal admission applies.

Calke Alive 20th Century
29 March 2016
12:30 to 17:00

Most of the staff have gone to war but you may meet the cook and the estate manager who are keeping the house in order. Take shelter from the air raid at 2.15pm in the Riding School where the land girls and the Home Guard will be jiving away the tea dance.

Lambing at Home Farm, Calke Abbey
02 April 2016 to 03 April 2016
11:00 to 15:30

Join us at Home Farm during lambing time of the rare breed Portland sheep flock, an opportunity to see lambs with their mothers and maybe even a lamb being born.  Garden ticket needed.

Calke Alive 19th Century
05 April 2016
12:30 to 17:00

Sneak into the house and meet some of the many staff that clean, cook and wait on the Harpur-Crewes. If you're lucky you may even get a glimpse of the very private sir Vauncey, that's if he's not out shooting on the estate.

Ranger Ramble - Meet Calke's Rare Breed Sheep
07 April 2016
From 14:00

Join a ranger on a ramble to find out more about Calke's very own flock of rare breed Portland sheep.  Meet at the ticket office for this two hour walk.

Lambing at Home Farm
09 April 2016 to 10 April 2016
11:00 to 15:30

Join us at Home Farm during lambing time of the rare breed Portland sheep flock, an opportunity to see lambs with their mothers and maybe even a lamb being born.  Garden ticket needed.

Curly Magpie at Calke Abbey - Vintage & Handmade Fair
10 April 2016
11:00 to 16:00

Curly Magpie at Calke Abbey - Vintage & Handmade Fair held in the beautiful Riding School building within the grounds of the stunning National Trust property of Calke Abbey. Over 30 stalls of lunique vintage fashion, memorabillia, antiques, retro home wares & handmade crafts & live vintage style music.


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Calke Abbey
DE73 7LE

01332 863822

01332 865272

Opening times

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.