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The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures

Little Castle, fountain Garden riding School Range The Pillar Parlour
Bolsover castle began life in the 12th century as a fortification belonging to the Perevel family

Peveril's castle was confiscated for the Crown by Henry II, but in 1553 Edward VI gave it to the Earl of Shewsbury, fourth husband of Bess of Hardwick The castle later passed to Sir Charles Cavendish, Bess's second son. The castle you can now see was built by Sir Charles and his son, William, who became Earl, and later Duke, of Newcastle. This began in 1613 with the re-building of the keep, to produce the so-called 'Little Castle', a gem of Jacobean design. This intimate and unusual building is the best preserved part of the castle and has been beautifully restored, with some lovely interiors.
Base of the Venus fountain
Sir Charles died in 1617 and his son extended his work, initially building the Terrace Range - a group of grand buildings ranging southwards from the Little Castle. This had a fine view westwards towards Chesterfield and the Peak District, and included a Great Hall and a Long Gallery, which were used for a lavish reception of Charles I and his court in 1634. Sadly, the Terrace Range lost its roof in the mid-18th century, so this is now merely a ruin. Charles' last addition was the Riding School Range - built to satisfy his passion for horses and dressage and manege.

William Cavendish was a fervent Royalist and one of their commanders in the Civil War, fighting (and losing) at Marston Moor. During the Protectorate he was exiled to Holland, only returning at the Restoration (he was tutor to the future Charles II). Upon his return he re-modelled the Terrace Range, furnishing it very lavishly. He died in 1676.

His son Henry died in 1691 and ownership of the Castle passed through the female line, eventually to the Dukes of Portland. After Henry's death Bolsover Castle was never again lived in by its owners, and material from it was plundered for use in other buildings. The castle was given to the nation by the Dukes of Portland in 1945 and is now administered by English Heritage.
*Link to official site for viewing Visitor Information*
bolsover Little Castle The Terrace Range Riding House