Haddon Hall Historical Website
Haddon Hall is a castle, sometimes designated as a manor-house, located in the Derbyshire area of England. It is two miles from the town of Bakewell and 15 miles from the town of Buxton. Haddon Hall has a thousand year history. Popular interest is in the period starting from the 1560's with the story of Sir George Vernon and the elopement of his beautiful daughter Dorothy Vernon with the enterprising John Manners. Sir George had no sons; Haddon Hall passed by way of Dorothy to the Manners family, and it has remained with them to this day.
This website emphasizes original scholarship and stories related to the literary phenomenon of Dorothy Vernon and Haddon Hall in the British Victorian era. However, scarce architectural and family history accounts of Haddon Hall are now being included.
Items on this web site are downloadable as PDF files, are in digital form and are completely searchable. In most instances, they are found nowhere else on the web.
For a complete list of all items on this website use the site map.
Haddon Hall Connection to Gilbert & Sullivan
Buxton is the home of the three week Gilbert & Sullivan Festival, which has been held each year for the past fifteen years. Visitors to the festival are made aware of Haddon Hall in the near vicinity and are encouraged to pay a visit there. The reason is that during the famous estrangement of W. S. Gilbert (libretto) and Arthur Sullivan (music) during the early 1890's, Sullivan sought out librettist Sydney Grundy and collaborated on the 1892 operetta entitled Haddon Hall. It was successful in its time, but revivals were discarded by the Savoy Opera Company in favor of the ever popular Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.
This American Gilbert & Sullivan collector and enthusiast was introduced to the Haddon Hall castle during a visit to the Festival. So began a collecting interest in Haddon Hall materials.
W. S. Gilbert's early plays show up on this website as a result of the interest in Gilbert. These scarce items, difficult to obtain, were written prior to Gilbert fully engaging in his lucrative and successful partnership with Arthur Sullivan. Also included are a G&S work and some other related items.
Haddon Hall's Story
In the late eighteenth century the Manners family quitted antiquated Haddon Hall for the more modern surroundings of another Manners residence, Belvoir Castle. The now deserted Haddon Hall was placed in the hands of a caretaker couple and subsequently opened to visiting travelers. Literary visitors began coming in the 1820's and either originated or recounted a story told by the caretakers. This is the story of Dorothy Vernon and her elopement with John Manners. Dorothy and John were known to be married in 1563 and are buried together in the Bakewell Church. Sir George Vernon, known as King of the Peak, is also buried there. There is some question as to whether an elopement really occurred or whether the marriage was a conventional, arranged affair. At any rate, the caretakers perpetuated the tale and were aided by the compliance of the Manners family. The romance of the ancient castle combined with the romantic liaison of Dorothy Vernon fueled the efforts of nineteenth century authors, poets and artists.
Printed Books Available
The books on this web site are freely available as pdf downloads. Some, however, are also available as printed books. To see a list of these books and obtain printed copies click and then wait about 10 seconds for the link. www.LULU.com/shop
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