Kirby Hall, Corby Events

Kirby Hall is one of England's greatest Elizabethan and 17th-century houses. Begun by Sir Humphrey Stafford in about 1570, it was purchased six years later by Sir Christopher Hatton, one of Queen Elizabeth's 'comely young men' and later her Lord Chancellor, who hoped in vain to receive the Queen here during one of her annual 'progresses' around the country. Although this vast mansion is partly roofless, most of its walls survive to their full impressive height: so does the stupendous three-tier inner porch, begun following French pattern books and later further embellished in the Classical style by the sculptor Nicholas Stone.