As part of the In Place exhibition held at Kedleston Hall was Memoria Corona. Occupying the centre of the magnificent Marble Hall, the crown resonated with the presence of the British Crown in India over the last two hundred years. Modelled on Elizabeth II’s crown, it is topped with a Kohinoor diamond which was lost by India to the British during the Raj. Made from Ivory duco paint on fibre reinforced plastic, Memoria Corona is the work of the Indian visual artist Reena Saini Kallat. As part of the Frank Cohen collection, the work is a memorial to the Indians who fell during the fight for independence and the surface is covered with their names.
Kedleston Hall was one of four venues that was part of a contemporary art programme which sought to look at the ties between Britain and the Subcontinent. Hosting the Shakti exhibition at Kedleston Hall was an opportunity to focus on the cultural and artistic perspectives of the Indian collection which once adorned the wonderful architecture of Robert Adam. The Eastern Museum at Kedleston was built to house such objects and was designed by George Nathaniel, Marquess Curzon, who was Viceroy of India between 1899-1905.
The Feral Sphere was exhibited as part of the collection acquired from India by Frank Cohen. The sphere is constructed from fibreglass, fabric and acrylic paint and is the work of the Indian sculptor and painter Jagannath Panda. Featuring exquisite embroideries, the Feral Sphere reflects developments in contemporary art. Frank Cohen was the first person to present a major exhibition of contemporary art from India in the UK and he collects works which represent the rich culture based on respective history, folklore and craft.
Located between Pears School and Repton School Library is the tranquil cloister Garth. Private and secluded, The Garth has a war memorial to the Schools fallen during conflict.
The Garth is at the heart of the school and was originally the cloistered garden for the Augustinian Monks who practised at Repton Abbey.
Located to the north of Sudbury Hall are two gate lodges. Dating to 1787, the lodges are believed to be the work of the English architect Thomas Gardner of Uttoxeter. Constructed of red brick with ashlar dressings, the lodges feature a central projecting pedimented bay with rusticated arched entrance. The almost identical pair of lodges are Grade II Listed.
In the Market Place of Melbourne is the Market Cross by James Wright. Dating to 1889 with alterations in 1953, the cross was constructed from ashlar and timber. Restored in 1977, the large central stone pier has a wooden bench attached. Within a niche on the west side, there is an inscription which states “Erected in 1889” and on the north side, a brass plaque records that the monument was erected to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. The timber shelter was erected in 1953 and the monument is Grade II listed.
Also known as Vernon Street Prison, the New County Gaol served as the county Gaol from 1843 to 1919 when it was demolished. All that remains today is the impressive facade (above).
Designed by the English architect Francis Goodwin, the Gaol initially had 185 cells. Designed in a wheel layout, the central hub of the Gaol was formed by the chapel and governor’s house with seven cell wings. The huge gates and 25ft high walls were constructed from freestone ashlar with the central entrance flanked by two tuscan columns supporting the triglyph frieze above.
The Gaol has Martello towers and the surviving facade is Grade II Listed.
The parish Church of St George in Ticknall was built in 1842 and was designed by the English architect Henry Isaac Stevens. The building is constructed of coursed squared sandstone and ashlar and is in the Perpendicular Gothic architectural style. The church features a battlemented west tower with an octagonal stone spire.
The chancel features a double chamfered arch and 19th century furnishings.
The nave roof features spindly hammer beam type beams with pointed arches. The Church of St George is Grade II Listed.
Located near to the present church of St George is the remains of Ticknall medieval church. The medieval church was originally built as a chapel dedicated to St Thomas Becket and was first mentioned in the early 13th century. Completely rebuilt in the 14th century followed by alterations in the 15th century, the chapel became the parish church by 1650. After falling into disrepair during the 19th century, permission was granted to build a larger church – the present church of St George which was built in 1842. The medieval church was blown up with gunpowder in 1841.
Some of the stone was reused in the building of the new church. There are surviving remains below ground with two fragments of the medieval structure above ground. The surviving walls are constructed of coursed, squared sandstone and ashlar with a surviving three light window with intersecting tracery.
The remains of the medieval tower and buttresses (above) with part of the west wall which retains the jamb and the first three voussoirs. The medieval church is Grade II Listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Situated 100m southwest of Hardwick Hall is the ruin of the Old Hall. The Countess of Shrewsbury, Bess of Hardwick, was the second most powerful woman in England next to Queen Elizabeth. Gaining wealth through her four husbands, Bess was born in the Old Hall in 1527 and returned here in 1584 following the breakdown of her marriage to the Earl of Shrewsbury. Although planning her new hall opposite, Bess began to extend the Old Hall in 1587. The Old Hall was for Bess, her family and entourage whereas the new Hall would be for ostentation, entertainment and special guests.
Constructed of local sandstone and finished with rough plaster, the Old Hall was a radical modern mansion with the latest Italian innovations in house design. Evidence suggests that the south and west walls predate the rebuilding of 1587 indicating that the old manor house which stood on the site in 1525 had been incorporated into the building.
The Italian Renaissance villa layout was replicated with the great hall placed in the centre of the house in an attempt to create a symmetrical layout. The great hall retained its symbolic importance as the heart of the house and was still the first reception room for all visitors.
The hierarchy of room status is echoed in the layout – the higher the room, the better it was. The third floor of the building was the highlight for visitors and was made to impress. The Great Hill Chamber still features part of the deep plaster frieze of a double arcade, which was the fashion in northern Italian houses. With design elements taken from Roman architecture, the decoration was strongly influenced by Renaissance art. Hardwick Old Hall is Grade I Listed and maintained as a controlled ruin by English Heritage.