The first view of this impressive early 19th-century house nestling above sweeping lawns is quite tantalizing, giving visitors a fore-taste of the elegant interior. An interior which sadly today, due to the need for restoration can only be viewed on certain open days but happily the magnificent parkland surrounding the house can be enjoyed almost all the year round.
Elvaston Castle was built by the 3rd Earl of Harrington around 1817 to a design by James Wyatt, it was to remain the home of the Stanhope Family for two hundred years. Sold to the local authority in the 20th-century the estate now comprises of a superb country park and nature reserve of which the house is the centre-piece.
Elvaston offers the opportunity for a lovely day out amidst the splendour of the Derbyshire countryside. In the castle grounds you can enjoy much of mother natures rich bounty including ancient trees and wild shrubs and plants. There is a magnificent lake, lawns and woods, making the landscape ideal for birdwatching or just meandering whilst soaking up the becalmed atmosphere. Bird hides ensure good views of the rare species inhabiting the estate and over the past couple of decades a wetland area with ponds and reed beds has been established. As well as offering a haven for migrating birds, the grounds offer a sanctuary for breeding birds. There is also a colony of bats.
On an historic note the sumptuous golden gates spanning the south end of the formal gardens were brought by the 3rd Earl, Charles Stanhope, from the Palace of Versailles, France, in 1819.
The estate church is interesting as is the riding centre.
A tea room is open for refreshments and pleasant shaded picnic areas are available for those wishing to enjoy an "al fresco" meal.
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