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Elvaston Castle

Elvaston Castle

The Golden Gates, Elvaston Castle.

The present Elvaston Castle was designed by James Wyatt and built about 1817 for the 3rd Earl of Harrington. The estate belonged to the Stanhope Family who held it until the mid 20th century, 3 earldoms, those of Chesterfield, Stanhope and Harrington. Some of the splendid tombs of the Harrington branch of this family can be found in the church, which is situated close to the Castle, including Canova's beautiful monument to the 3rd Earl who died in 1829.

Though the building itself is strikingly handsome, it is the grounds which are the greatest glory of Elvaston. They are famous for long avenues, the serpentine lake, a Moorish temple, the large and unexpected example of rocaille and the Golden Gates from a french royal palace.

In the 20th century, the then Earl of Harrington sold the estate to the local authorities and it is now administered by the Derbyshire County Council and the Derby City Council as a country park providing a nature trail and field study facilities, a caravan park, car park, picnic area and the castle itself providing a cafe and an information centre. In the grounds there is also a Riding School. It holds a wide range of annual events including exhibitions, craft and other fairs, the County Show, and a Steam Rally.

Sadly, the ongoing lack of funding and attention from the Council over recent years has resulted in the Castle and grounds beginning to run heavily into disrepair. As a result, the castle itself is now in desperate need of restoration and, as such, is rarely open to the public nowadays.

Elvaston Country Park is open to the public from dawn to dusk. Admission is free though a small car parking fee applies.

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