About this image
Melbourne Hall was originally the rectory house for the Bishops of Carlisle. In 1629-31 Sir John Coke, Secretary of State to King Charles I, bought the house. It was substantially rebuilt by Thomas and George Coke in the early 18th century. Lord Melbourne, Prime Minister to Queen Victoria, inherited the house and estate in 1828. His name was given to Melbourne, Australia. The present owner is descended from the Cokes. The hall has interesting and extensive gardens which contain a wrought iron arbour made around 1710 by Robert Bakewell of Derby. It is also renowned for its collection of statues. The statue seen here is that of The Roman God, Mercury. Mercury (Hermes in greek mythology) was the son of Zeus and Maia. He was god of commerce, wrestling, and gymnastic exercises, thieving, and what required skill and dexterity. Mercury was the messenger of Zeus, and wore a winged hat and winged shoes. He held a rod entwined with two serpents and wings, called the caduceus, and invented the lyre.