Derbyshire, Grotto

The Hermitage, Kedleston, Derbyshire

Having fallen in to serious disrepair, the Hermitage at Kedleston was restored by the National Trust in 2016. The project was made more difficult because a large, and very lovely, plane tree has established itself alongside the building, which also makes (non-professional) photography something of a challenge.

In the 1760s Lord Scarsdale and Robert Adam conceived a circuit walk around the park at Kedleston, with views in to the house, and out into the country beyond. The three mile gravel walk was bordered by flowering shrubs, and punctuated with buildings including a Turkish Tent; but only the Hermitage survives today. There’s no evidence that a hermit was ever employed to inhabit the folly, and as it was furnished with a tea table it is more likely that it was used as a tranquil spot for refreshments.

The Folly Flâneuse followed in the footsteps of 18th century visitors and stayed at the inn designed by Robert Adam.

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