Wollaton Hall is a spectacular Elizabethan mansion in the heart of Nottingham.
Wollaton is a classic prodigy house, “the architectural sensation of its age”, though its builder was not a leading courtier and its construction stretched the resources he mainly obtained from coalming; the original family home was at the bottom of the hill. Though much re-modelled inside, the “startlingly bold” exterior remains largely intact.
Wollaton Hall was designed by Robert Smythson and built by Sir Francis Willoughby between 1580 and 1588 for his family. Now a prominent Grade One listed building, the stunning Hall houses the city’s Natural History Museum along with reconstructed room settings.
The building consists of a central block dominated by a hall three storeys high, with a stone screen at one end and galleries at either end, with the “Prospect Room” above that. From this there are extensive views of the park and surrounding country. There are towers at each corner, projecting out from this top floor. At each corner of the house is a square pavilion of three storeys, with decorative features rising above the roof line. Much of the basement storey is cut from the rock the house sits on.
Standing on a natural hill three miles west of Nottingham City Centre, Wollaton Hall is set in five hundred acres of spectacular gardens and parkland. The hall was used as the setting for Wayne Manor in the 2012 Batman film, Dark Knight Rises.
The surrounding parkland has a herd of deer, and is regularly used for large-scale outdoor events such as rock concerts, sporting events and festivals.
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