Elvaston Castle. Historic past; glorious future.

Highgate Sanctuary PO Box 7058 Turnditch BELPER DE56 9AN

Frequently asked questions (page 1 of 4)

Rumours and misinformation continue to surround the proposals for Elvaston Castle, causing unnecessary concern to local residents. These are the questions most frequently asked about Highgate Sanctuary's proposals to safeguard the future of Elvaston Castle and Estate. We invite you to read the facts and to make your own judgement.

Under our proposals, the Castle and its immediate buildings will be thoughtfully restored to their original grandeur and extended to provide a hotel. Each element of the design and the materials to be used is being sensitively considered in order to minimise the effect on the historic architecture and landscape. We believe development is needed to improve the facilities at Elvaston and ensure the long-term use and survival of the existing buildings and park.

Q1. We’ve heard you’re closing the Castle and Estate s?

On the contrary, not only are we pledging to maintain existing access, but we are supporting the County Council's proposals to extend it to areas of the grounds not currently open to the public such as the Nursery Gardens next to the old English Garden, the Sunken Garden behind the Cottage and Springthorpe Cottage. We also want to open up access to the Castle and its associated buildings, including the stables, kennels and Home Farm. The new uses proposed for the buildings will enable more people to visit and enjoy them and to understand how those buildings played a part in the history of the Estate.

Public access to the formal gardens, lake, showground, woods and nature reserve will not change. People will still be able to walk their dogs around the grounds and no entrance charges to the park or core gardens are planned. Access to the Castle courtyards will be limited to hotel visitors but we have specifically designed the hotel and other facilities to enable the continuation of the popular circular walks around the Estate - inluding around the lake and through the woods, around the Castle buildings and back into the historic gardens via the rear of the stables and south of the churchyard. We are also supporting proposals to improve footpath routes between Elvaston and Borrowash. A new cafe will be provided and it is anticipated that, subject to agreed funding, this will be in the proposed Gardens Visitor Centre, planned to be adjacent to the Walled Gardens and nearer to the public car park (See question 5).

For years, the current tearoom has been the only part of the Castle building accessible to members of the public. Under Highgate Sanctuary's plans, the entire ground floor will provide restaurant facilities for the new hotel which will be open to non-residents. That includes the Gothic Hall, Reception Room, the Library, the Dining Room and the fabulous double height old kitchen.

Q2. Is it true that only hotel guests will be able to go into the Castle?

The hotel spa, bar and dining facilities will be open to non-residents so that anyone using them will be able to enjoy the splendour of the whole of the restored ground floor and ancillary buildings. When all the repair work is complete, local residents will be able to have the first chance to see the Castle's grandeur returned before the hotel opens. There will also be the opportunity for groups to book tours of the building once the hotel has opened.

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