Holker Hall is one of England’s best-loved stately homes. Sited close to the glorious expanse of Grange-over-Sands, it houses one of the most striking dining rooms in Cumbria. Pre-Victorian dining chairs and antique dining tables of the Chippendale period are framed by a fireplace boasting magnificent twisted columns carved from the estate’s own oak, above which hangs a self-portrait by Van Dyck – one of numerous priceless works of art on show.
The Hall, built by the Dukes of Devonshire and owned by the Cavendish family since the 1600s, is today the property of Lord and Lady Cavendish, who extend a welcoming hand to all who visit. Vigorously active in matters of wildlife conservation and promoting local trades, they organise special events throughout the year. February 12th marks the Special Spring Opening, during which visitors can tour the house and gardens. A number of family events are planned, as well as a sumptuous Valentine Dinner. Couples on a romantic visit to Cumbria will be seated on Victorian dining chairs in the Courtyard Restaurant, enjoying a sumptuous meal by candlelight while being serenaded by Italian Renaissance music – all for the princely sum of £29.95 a head.
As with much of Cumbria, Arts & Crafts furniture and interiors feature heavily at Holker Hall, which suffered a disastrous fire in 1871. Undaunted, Lord Cavendish rebuilt the entire West Wing in true Gothic Revival tradition – this is the part of the Hall open to visitors today. Visitors will find elaborate Victorian dining chairs, Chippendale cabinets and antique desks by Cumbria’s leading craftsmen – whose work can also be found at antique dealers throughout Cumbria and Lancashire.
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