Film: 3948

Places + Locations | 1960 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

Map of England north of the River Trent. Camera moves towards the name Adlington, Cheshire as John Betjeman's voice tells the viewer that they will be looking at country houses / stately homes in this area. Main road from Manchester to London along which the vehicle on which the camera is mounted moves. Camera approaches Adlington country house: a grand exterior with large columns. Camera passes through arch revealing the 500 year old Manor House. The interior: the great hall completely wood panelled. One of the pillars supporting the hall is an oak tree with its roots still in the ground. Handel's organ of 1749 is in the hall. Cherubs on the top of pillars are set into the organ. Coats of Arms have been painted on the ceiling. The drawing room: chandelier (1751), wood carvings in pine wood.
Return to map and camera focuses on Haddon, Derbyshire. Shots of fields with dry stone walls from moving vehicle. Haddon Hall as both fortress and Stewart Manor House. An imposing building, castle like. Interior of the chapel at Haddon Hall: decorated walls, woman's feet climbing stone steps. Interior of drawing room: intricate plastering. The River Wye from Haddon Hall. Steps up to the Long Gallery: ornate ceiling, oak walls, very light.
Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. Estate that surrounds it: trees, grass. Exterior of Keddleston Hall: sweeping steps up to the main entrance, statues in alcoves. Interior: marble hall designed by Robert Adam. Floor is mixture of stone and marble while columns are of red and cream Nottingham alabaster. More statues in alcoves along wall. Very ornate chimney piece. The owners, the Curzons, coat of arms. Mahogany door, key hole covered by face to prevent draughts. The state drawing room: door cases of alabaster, chandelier, sofa designed by Adam. Heaton Hall, owned by corporation of Manchester. Designed by James Wyatt in 1772. Exterior of house. House is now a Georgian Museum. Close up of engraved glass, silver tea pots, a taper stick. Music room with organ, classical figures adorn panels. Mahogany piano, staircase.


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