Bolsover Castle | Attraction Guides | History Hit

About Bolsover Castle

Bolsover Castle near Chesterfield in Derbyshire contains the remains of a 17th century English mansion house, modelled on a medieval castle.

The site where Bolsover Castle now stands once contained a small fortification; however this was dismantled in 1612 by the landowner Charles Cavendish, who began a fresh construction on the site. The main development was intended to reflect a small medieval fortress, and became known as the ‘Little Castle’. Though Charles himself did not live to see the completion of this project, it was continued by his son William – said to be something of a playboy at the time – who completed the scheme along with additional buildings and an ornate riding house.

In 1634 Bolsover Castle hosted a visit by Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria and William continued to be a supporter of the King during the English Civil War. However, this support did not bode well for Bolsover Castle, which was captured and partially demolished by the Parliamentarians. William, who fled into exile during the war, returned in around 1660 and undertook repairs to the estate.

After William’s death Bolsover Castle did not take pride of place among the Cavendish estates and his successors failed to maintain much of the site. By the 19th century most of Bolsover Castle had fallen into ruin, though the Little Castle remained, used as a vicarage.

Today, visitors to Bolsover Castle can enjoy a number of interesting sites and activities, including the intricate decorations of the Little Castle and the fascinating riding house. Bolsover Castle also contains a number of audio visual displays and activities for children – in fact, there are a number of special events days at Bolsover, you can view a list on the official site. The castle grounds are also well worth seeing, offering great views of the local area and excellent picnicking opportunities!