Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood



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Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood are two contrasting experiences, sitting side by side. Sudbury Hall was begun by Mary Vernon in 1613 and completed by her son George between 1670 and 1695. The grand facade by William Wilson has more than a touch of the Baroque which was fashionable at the end of the 17th century, borne out by the hipped roof, balustrade and cupola. Inside, the house has many elegant rooms with plasterwork by Bradbury and Pettifer, painted ceilings by Laguerre and wonderful carved woodwork by Edward Pierce and Grinling Gibbons. The magnificent Long Gallery, reached by a superb carved staircase, fills the whole of the south front of the house. Sudbury Hall was the home of Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV, for three years after his death. The house is now the home of the National Trust’s Museum of Childhood, a fascinating insight into how Victorian and Edwardian children worked and played, complete with a genuine Victorian schoolroom, and Betty Cadbury’s collection of toys and dolls. Children can play with old toys, dress up as a chimney sweep or a scullion, interact with hands-on displays, and watch archive films. In the grounds is a lovely lake and a strange, castellated Eye Catcher gatehouse folly, built around 1800.

Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood
SUDBURY,Ashbourne,DE6 5HT


  • Suitable for children of all ages
  • Parking onsite
  • Parking nearby
  • Cafe
  • Facilities: Wheelchair available, lift, large print/Braille guide & touch list
  • Accessible toilets
Opening times
  • Opening Times: Please see website for opening details

About the area

Discover Derbyshire

The natural features of this central English county range from the modest heights of the Peak District National Park, where Kinder Scout stands at 2,088 ft (636 m), to the depths of its remarkable underground caverns, floodlit to reveal exquisite Blue John stone. Walkers and cyclists will enjoy the High Peak Trail which extends from the Derwent Valley to the limestone plateau near Buxton, and for many, the spectacular scenery is what draws them to the area.

The county is well endowed with stately homes – most notably Chatsworth, the palatial home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, with its outstanding collections of paintings, statuary and art. Other gems include the well preserved medieval Haddon Hall, the Elizabethan Hardwick Hall, and Kedleston Hall, whose entrance front has been described as the grandest Palladian façade in Britain.

The spa town of Matlock is the county’s administrative centre and other major towns of interest include Derby and the old coal mining town of Chesterfield, with its crooked spire. Around the villages of Derbyshire, look out for the ancient tradition of well dressing, the decorating of springs and wells – the precious sources of life-sustaining water – with pictures formed from flowers.

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