Haddon Hall sits on a limestone slope overlooking the River Wye, which empties into the Derwent a few miles below
. Much older than
its Elizabethan neighbour, Haddon dates back nearly to the time of the Conquest. Almost abandoned by its owners at the
beginning of the 18th century, it escaped the extensive rebuilding that many of England's great houses underwent during the
Georgian era. While these were modernized, Haddon slept and survived as a medieval manor house.
In the story... Diana's paternal grandmother lives at Youlgreave. The granddaughter often visits, taking a cross-country route
aboard her horse, Roland. She passes through the grounds of Haddon Hall. In June of 1854 she meets an angler fishing in the
Wye. The fisherman is John Manners
, the future Duke of Rutland
and owner of Haddon Hall. He tells Diana that he is undertaking the restoration of Haddon after 150 years of neglect. He doesn't
tell her that he lost his wife in childbirth two months earlier and that the restoration project is intended as a distraction from his
grief. Diana's bright spirit lifts his own and the next day he rides to her
to inquire after her.