The 17th Century Playboy Mansion
Bolsover Castle was built to lavishly entertain guests and is often called the playboy Mansion of the 17th century.
Bolsover Castle can be traced back to the 12th century, but that it not what stands today. The image above is of Bolsover Little Castle, which was built by Sir William Cavendish in the 17th century as a retreat for entertaining guests. One of which was Charles I. To the right of the image is a statue of Venus in the Fountain garden.
Sir William Cavendish loved horses. The building in front is the stables and indoor Riding School, which William Cavendish built to house the many exotic horses that he imported from overseas.
A study by the University of Sheffield suggests the Star Chamber was used as an auditorium for aristocratic plays and country house masques.
The image above was painted in 1619, and is a depiction of Christ’s ascension into heaven surrounded by angels.
Unfortunately, only the Little Castle and the Stables remain intact today. William Cavendish also built the Terrace Range which overlooks Vale of Scarsdale. It was left to go to ruin by William’s son, Henry.
Tips for visitors.
Bolsover Castle is managed by English Heritage. The cost of entry for an adult as of 2019 is £11.80 and a child is £7.10. If they have a special event on, there is an additional charge even if you are an English Heritage member. On busy days the small carpark gets full, there is additional parking opposite the main car park and there is another carpark if you pass the castle to your right, but the entrance is quite concealed and I didn’t notice it until I had parked up and was walking back to the castle. There is street parking but like anywhere, this is not ideal. I parked on the street and someone parked about an inch from my bumper. Luckily I had left enough room in front of me to get out. In the summer the castle opens from 10am until 6pm, in winter, hours are reduced.