Kirby Hall - Northamptonshire
One of England�s greatest Elizabethan and 17th century houses. Begun by Sir Humphrey Stafford in about 1570, it was purchased six years later by Sir Christopher Hatton, one of Queen Elizabeth�s �comely young men� and later her Lord Chancellor, who hoped in vain to receive the Queen here during one of her annual �progresses� around the country. Although this vast mansion is partly roofless, most of its walls survive to their full impressive height: so does the stupendous three-tier inner porch, begun following French pattern books and later further embellished in the Classical style by the sculptor Nicholas Stone. Kirby Hall�s exceptionally rich decoration, indeed, proclaims that its successive owners were always in the forefront of new ideas about architecture and design. The Great Hall and state rooms also remain intact, and have been refitted and redecorated to authentic 17th and 18th-century specifications.
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