National Trust Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey is a local historic property to Breedon on the Hill which is set in over 600 acres of beautiful Derbyshire countryside. Our self-binding pathway material Breedon Golden Amber Gravel has been used extensively around the grounds and complements the surroundings perfectly.

Calke Abbey stands on the site of the original Calke Priory, which was a house of Augustinian canons, founded between 1114 and 1120 by Richard, Earl of Chester. After the dissolution of the monasteries the priory remained under the control of the Crown until 1547, when it was presented to John, Earl of Warwick. The estate was sold to the Harpur family in 1622, who remained the owners until 1981.

Calke Abbey came to the Trust in 1985, in lieu of tax to the Government. It opened in 1989 and has become famous as an example of a country house in decline in the twentieth century, with its peeling paintwork and overgrown courtyards.

As Calke’s conservation philosophy is to repair not restore, the house and stables are little changed, with many abandoned areas vividly portraying a period in the 20th century when numerous country houses did not survive to tell their story.

“We find Breedon Golden Amber Gravel most effective on our key visitor routes, which experience heavy footfall, but the paths remain safe and durable not only for thousands of pairs of feet but also for wheelchairs, buggies and mobility scooters that are also regular users of the footpaths. We find the colour of Breedon Golden Amber Gravel is the most suitable in our historic areas, since it complements our conservation priorities well and supports Calke’s spirit of place.” Caroline Taylor – Visitor Experience Manager, Calke Abbey.

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