Hey guys! So over the Easter holidays, I visited my grandparents who live in Chesterfield. Most of our time there was spent celebrating the 101st birthday of my Great Nan and seeing my friend Alice who lives there but on our last day there, we decided to take a family trip out to Bolsover Castle. Bolsover is located about 20 minutes away from Chesterfield and it has a magnificent castle which I hadn’t visited before up until that point. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m slightly obsessed with castles, cathedrals and churches and I definitely have a penchant for them. It was so awesome to explore the grounds of the castle, particuarly the castle itself and I captured some amazing photos which I’m going to share with you all. So in today’s post, I’ll be relaying my experience of Bolsover Castle!
Stepping through the stone entrance, we wandered into a grassy area with different buildings forming a square around the edge of it. There were three buildings which resembled houses; one was the stables, one was where the servants had lived and one was an exhibit, teaching visitors some history about the castle. We entered into the first building which was the servants quarters and my first thought was that it was absolutely freezing. There was a fireplace in the room upstairs I noticed which would’ve been used to heat the house in the old days. The house was built mostly of stone with wooden beams holding up the roof. A couple of plain glass windows were dotted around the house but overall, the building was plain and dreary and really contrasted the more magnificent rooms that the important people who lived or stayed at the castle would’ve used. The stables had been transformed into a place for horse shows which I believe is what it’s used for now. The ground was covered with sand and a block of wooden seats was available for people to watch from.
The final house contained so much interesting information from the castle’s history. The main points were that Bolsover Castle was a sophisticated 17th century palace, reflecting the life, aspirations and interests of a wealthy aristocrat and Duke of Newcastle William Cavendish. The castle was used as a retreat for William Cavendish, his family and guests since they controlled the estate from Welleck Abbey, about 5 miles away. Bolsover Castle was designed to reflect Cavendish status but also convey architectural flair with an ingenious and geometrically complex design. William Cavendish had a range of interests such as poetry, drama, philosophy, horse riding and science and he was a patron of writers, musicians, philosophers and artists who experimented with new fashionable ideas. He played host to both King James I and his son King Charles I and was governor to young Charles II. He led Royalist troops in the Civil War.
Next, we ventured into the ruins that were located next to these house like buildings. They spread over a vast area and held a certain air of something that was once magnificent. I find ruins so beautiful because of the irregularities of them in their uneven crumbling walls and the unique beauty they possess that is distinct from any whole building. Meandering around them, it was clear to identify what had once been seperate rooms from their half destroyed walls and various windows that were dotted around. It was weird but cool to think that once, they’d been whole buildings with people walking through them or hanging out inside them, not possibly realising at the time that in the future, they would just become ruins.
The last part of Bolsover Castle was the star of the show, the aptly named Little Castle! It was pretty spectacular as it was crafted completely from stone with about 4 levels to it and delicate turrets right at the top. There was a terrace walkway surrounding it from one side to the other that people could walk across and me and my sister had a lovely stroll across it, enjoying the beautiful views of the countryside that it overlooked on one side and the rest of the castle grounds on the other side. Inside, there was a definite contrast between the rooms. The rooms that the important people would’ve used which were predominantly on the upper levels were completely stunning. My favourite room overall had wooden walls with delicate metal patterns across them and beautiful white arcs leading up to the ceiling. However, the other rooms completely juxtaposed these rooms and were like the rooms in the servants quarters: plain and dreary. It reminded me of how much emphasis there was on your social class on those days and how glad I am that it’s not that extreme now!
Thank you for reading this post! Have you visited a castle before? Let me know in the comments! There’ll be another post out soon but until then, bye for now!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull