Melbourne Hall is home to Lord & Lady Ralph Kerr and their family. They live there throughout the year and open their house to the public during the month of August.
Although steeped in history, Melbourne Hall retains a family feel and makes it one of the most fascinating visitor attractions in the area.
Originally the house was a 12th-century rectory owned by the Bishops of Carlisle, who worshipped in the magnificent Norman Parish Church adjacent to the Hall. Sir John Coke was the first member of the family to make his home at Melbourne, restoring parts of the house around 1628.
Melbourne Hall houses a fine collection of exquisite furniture and antiques, as well as examples of modern and contemporary pieces of glass and porcelain. The paintings and family portraits are of a particularly high standard.
The East Wing of the Hall overlooks the formal French style garden planned by Rt.Hon.Thomas Coke, who was Vice Chamberlain to Queen Anne. The manicured lawns, statuary and ornamental pools make an elegant setting for the unique wrought iron pergola, or 'birdcage' crafted by the 18th-century ironsmith, Robert Bakewell.
Together with the Four Seasons Urn, wishing well, Australian urn and yew tunnel, the garden at Melbourne provides an interesting mix of surprises along each pathway.
House and gardens: August, Tuesday to Sunday, Bank Holiday Mondays, 2pm to 5pm (guided tours only Tuesday to Thursday, last tour 4.15pm).
Gardens only: April to September, Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays, 1.30pm to 5.30pm.
Situated 8 miles South of Derby and 4 miles from East Midlands Airport.
From M1 Take junction 24 and follow the signs for the airport, Isley Walton and Melbourne From the A42 come off at Ashby de la Zouch, follow the signs to East Midlands Airport then turn left at Lount crossroads towards Melbourne From the A50 take junction 3 and follow the signs to Melbourne.
From Derby bus station take a number 61 to Swadlincote and then a number 2 to Melbourne.
Car park on site
- Free but limited
Historic Houses members visit for free.
Please contact the Estate Office for current prices.
- Wheelchair ramps/routes
- Guide dogs welcome
A word from the owner
Melbourne Hall has always been a much loved and lived in family home. I live here with my wife Lady Ralph Kerr, who is an artist and portrait painter, and my family. The whole family play an active role in the presentation of the Hall and Gardens.
Many members of the family have served the Crown in some way. Sir John Coke was at the court of Queen Elizabeth I and the Rt.Hon.Thomas Coke, who planned the gardens at Melbourne was Vice Chamberlain to Queen Anne.
Melbourne Hall was the home of William Lamb who as 2nd Viscount Melbourne became Queen Victorias first Prime Minister and gave his name to Melbourne Australia.
There are gifts from Queen Victoria to be seen in the Hall, as well as various items reminding us of Williams mother, the 1st Lady Melbourne and his wife Lady Caroline Lamb and their friend Lord Byron.
The Melbourne Hall garden, with its broad sweeps of lawn, avenues and unexpected vistas, is one of the best known historic gardens in the country and is the best surviving early 18th century English garden in the manner of Le Nôtre. It was never considered ordinary. As early as 1712 it was described as ‘curious’, and by 1789 it was not only curious but ‘old-fashioned’ as well.
Wander around and discover it for yourselves.