Elvaston Castle. Historic past; glorious future.

Highgate Sanctuary Ltd

Expanded history (page 2 of 2)

On the 4th Earl’s death in 1851, the 5th Earl, Leicester Stanhope, opened the gardens to the public. Despite the steep 3s entrance fee, thousands flocked to admire the beauty of the estate gardens.

Barron’s replacement was head gardener, Mr Goodacre who continued to maintain the formal gardens, as well as using his particular skills to grow exotic species such as figs, melon and peaches, for which he won awards all over the country.

In the late 1930s, William Stanhope, the 11th Earl, left Elvaston for County Limerick.

From 1939-1950 the Castle housed a large teacher training college that had been evacuated from Derby during the War. In 1963, the Earl sold the Castle and Estate in order to settle death duties and Sothebys held a large auction of the Castle’s contents.

The Estate was sold to the Needlers Development Company in the same year and re-sold to Derbyshire County Council and Derby Corporation for the establishment of a Country Park in 1969. Also this year, scenes for Ken Russell's film adaptation of the D.H Lawrence novel Women in Love, were filmed at the Castle, including the famous nude wrestling scene between Alan Bates and Oliver Reed.

Source: Elvaston Castle Country Park, Derbyshire County Council.

Year   Events
1633   
  Elvaston Castle built
1812  
  Castle building re-designed by James Wyatt for Charles, Third Earl of Harrington
1815  
  Robert Walker appointed to supervise the implementation of Wyatt’s designs
1830 - 1850  
  Significant landscaping of the surrounding parkland and gardens took place under the direction of William Barron. The east front is also re-designed and some of the interiors refurbished by Lewis Cottingham
1851  
  The 5th Earl, Leicester Stanhope, opened the gardens to the public with an entrance fee
1930's  
  In the late 1930s, William Stanhope, the 11th Earl, left Elvaston for County Limerick
1939 - 1950  
  From 1939-1950 the Castle housed a large teacher training college
1963  
  Estate sold to Needles Developments Company
1969  
  Acquired by Derbyshire County Council and Derby Corporation for the establishment of a Country Park. Also this year, scenes for Ken Russell's film adaptation of the D.H Lawrence novel Women in Love were filmed at the Castle
1980’s - 2008  
  The condition of the Castle has declined as the costs of repairs and renovation have escalated and for many years public access has been limited to just one room, which is used as a tearoom
2002 – 2004   
  DCC undertook a two-year process of competitive bids to find the right solution for the Castle and gardens and in September 2004 announced that its preferred partner was Highgate Sanctuary Ltd

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