The grand mansion that never left the drawing board

In the last of this fascinating series, Patrick Coleman looks at the stately home that never was!

WHEN it comes to stately homes, Derbyshire hardly suffers a shortage: Hardwick, Haddon, Kedleston, Chatsworth, to name only the most notable, are among the finest examples of country houses anywhere in England… and yet, there just might have been one more!

Tucked away in the archives of the Royal Institute of British Architects are a set of working plans for a grand house in Derbyshire that never made it, drawn by one of the most celebrated architects in Elizabethan England, Robert Smythson.