Peachick is new arrival at Kirby Hall

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Kirby Hall near Gretton has become widely known for its grand feathered residents.

A large number of peacocks and peahens roam the grounds and regularly stop to pose for visitor photos.

Now there is a chirpy new young starlet strutting its stuff as staff welcome the arrival of a peachick – the first for a few years!

These delightful photos were sent in by visitors Doris and Sam Payne who saw the chick on the day it hatched (August 14) and commented on how proud the mother looked.

The early months of a peachick’s life are a treacherous time as lots of predators think about their dinner, so they need a protective mother to keep them safe.

This particular chick’s mother is no stranger to danger having been rescued earlier this year by an animal charity, after it was being teased on a housing estate.

Property manager at Kirby Hall Beryl Spearman said: “We are delighted to have the new peachick here at Kirby Hall.

“The mother hen sat steadfastly on her egg through thunderous rain and baking heat.

“Now she takes her chick on long walks round the site and makes sure it eats its greens.”

Staff will also be looking for a name for the young chick next year when they find out if it is a boy or a girl when it grows new feathers.

Will it be a Sweet pea, Pea-nelope, Chick-toria Peckham or Pete, Hitch-cock, Chap-pea, all suggestions are welcome!

English Heritage’s Kirby Hall is partially a ruin, albeit one where the stonework is in such immaculate condition that you almost expect someone to come along in doublet and hose at any moment.

Sir Humphrey Stafford inherited the hall in 1548 and began expanding it 22 years later.

But it was Sir Christopher Hatton, Elizabeth I’s Lord Chancellor, who completed the job to such meticulous effect.

Hatton regarded the queen as a saint and hoped that Kirby would be one of her shrines.

It did not work out that way but what remains is magical, surrounded by park land on the east side and the formal West Garden on the other, described in the 1690s as “ye finest garden in England”.

The Great Hall is breathtaking, while the pair of bay windows at the end of the State Suite are achingly beautiful, it is little wonder that in 1999, Kirby Hall was used as the location for the filming of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.

Visitors wanting to see the peachick can visit Kirby Hall Wednesdays to Sundays between 10am and 5pm.

English Heritage members are free, Adults £5.80, Concessions £5.20, Child £3.50 and family £15.10 (2 adults and up to 3 children).