I love a good story...especially one that happened during the 17th century. Bolsover Castle was the backdrop for great love, intrigue, death, and war. When I read that the "Little Castle" (it's nickname) had recently undergone a £1.3 million renovation, I knew this place would have something unique to offer. It was built by William Cavendish, the first Duke of Newcastle...not as a fortress, or a home in the country, but as a place to stop people dead in their tracks, take a step back and say, WHOA . The location of the castle is stunning all on it's own. It sits atop a large hill in Derbyshire with 360° panoramas and on a clear day, which we had the wonderful opportunity of experiencing, you can see the countryside for miles. It's breathtaking!
(Above: Opening the massive entrance gates.)
(Above: We can't decide what to discover first, but look at those views!)
(Above: Looking down at the valley from the "Little Castle")
In 1621, William Cavendish was a millionaire playboy who is best known as the father of dressage. For more information on his dressage career click here. He had a great love for horses and wrote books to encourage kinder techniques to train them. He married multiple times, loved poetry, art, and archeture. Bolsover Castle's architect spent months in London for inspiration in order to bring back the latest fashions in home decor. The Duke's home comprised of a lavish estate, beautifully kept stables, and the "Little Castle" to entertain, inspire, and impress. He spared no expense, and you can tell from the tapestries draping the walls, to the ornately carved fireplaces, artwork, and existing grandeur.
(Above: Liam walking the castle grounds.)
(Above: The entrance to the Little Castle.)
(Above: The receiving room.)
(Above: The Great Hall)
These little day trips are what I live for! History in England is just a stones throw away in any direction. You can hop in the car and in under 3 hours be in a castle, abbey, fortress, battlefield, Roman city, or you know...Stonehenge. It's like an amateur historian's dream! When I was in school I read about these magnificent places, I'd watched others discover them on TV, and day dreamed about them on Pinterest. These places are no longer elusive tales and stories, but REAL...like touch them with my own hands...real! My historical passion has now become a reality in which I am now standing on precious moments in time that have helped our society evolve into what it is today. I don't know about you, but I think my 8th grade history teacher would've been pretty impressed.
(Above: Luc pretending to fortify the castle.)
(Above: Walking the remnants of the first Duke of Newcastle's home.)
(Above: Moi...in my element!)
Cheerio y'all...until next time.