False chimney in the marble room leading to the attic hide and the swinging beam hide in Dr Dodd’s Library Educational Facilities The Courtyard Wall Paintings in the Small Chapel Harvington Hall from the North East

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The approach to some historic mansions is dignified, even imposing, with lodges and gravel drives or avenues of oaks and limes. Harvington is more casual. You reach it up a narrow lane from the village pub, twisting past cottages and houses, a field full of sheep and an ancient quarry, now used for parking tractors. There is a laurel hedge and glimpses of a sheet of water. Then suddenly you emerge into an open space with a church and stables at the far side. Before you, across a lawn, is a great pile of red-brick chimneys and gables, rising from a moat overhung by trees.   To the left is the main Elizabethan building; to the right the North Tower, also originally Elizabethan but reconstructed about 1756 with Georgian staircase and windows. Between them is the low central part, with the gateway and a single tall chimney. The lawn is more or less on the site of the Elizabethan Bowling Green. On the far side of the island are two other buildings: a camouflaged Catholic chapel of 1743 and the Elizabethan Malt House, which has recently been restored and adapted as a visitor centre, with an exhibition of life on the estate.

 

For information about opening times, entrance fees and how to get to the Hall, please go to the VISITING page.