A day at Bolsover Castle
By Saadia Sharif
Bolsover Castle offers the perfect opportunity to delve into the deep history of Britain. Built in the 12th century in Derbyshire, England, the castle offers an insight into the lifestyles of traditional English lords and even royalty. Unlike other medieval castles which were designed for conflict, Bolsover Castle was designed to play host to luxurious celebrations which is reflected in its rich interior and lack of external wartime structures.
The Little Castle sits close to the main castle and was created with the intention to impress – large ornate windows, a balcony overlooking the grounds, and several entertainment rooms upon entry. Bolsover Castle’s Little Castle reveals the extent of the extravagant banquets and balls of its occupant Sir William Cavendish with a ground floor showcasing classic 17th century furniture and beautiful arched ceilings. The upper floors of the castle feature magnificent painted ceilings restored to their original glory. Scenes of Ancient Greek gods and goddesses grace the ceilings of the Elysium chamber while the Heaven chamber illustrates intricate depictions of Christ.
Adjoining to Bolsover Castle is the Terrace Range. Now in ruins, its beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder as visitors are able to visualise the opulent banqueting halls and state rooms. As well as the opportunity for imagination, the Range offers a relaxing view of the English countryside.
Bolsover Castle also houses a fountain garden – a gorgeous garden laden with plants and flowers including a water feature holding a statue of the Roman goddess of love, Venus. The flora is carefully selected to replicate how the garden would’ve looked in its prime, choosing flowers such as tulips which would’ve been seen as a luxuriously rare plant in the 17th century.
Encircling the garden is a pathway stretching generously around to provide a stunning view in every direction. With a view of the garden on one side and the Bolsover Castle grounds on the other, the recently renovated wall walk is a dream for those with an appreciation for nature.
Bolsover Castle provides a brilliant account of the lives of 17th century aristocrats, and is excellently kept by the English Heritage organisation in order to showcase the best of Britain’s history.
For more information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/bolsover
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