© Image Copyright Yhun Suarez.
Nikon D60, tamron 10-24 mm lens, on tripod, UV filter.
3 RAW exposures tone mapped in Photomatix.
In the 16th century the estate was held by the Shelford Priory. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the Crown sold the Priory and its estates in 1538 to Sir Michael Stanhope of Rampton, Nottinghamshire. Sir John Stanhope(d1611) granted the estate to his second son, also Sir John Stanhope (d 1638) High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1629.
Originally a manor house built for the latter Sir John in 1633, it was redesigned in grand style by James Wyatt in the early 19th century for the 3rd Earl of Harrington. Further modifications were made in the 1830s by the architect Lewis Nockalls Cottingham. The gardens were also redesigned by William Barron who spent many years working for the fourth Earl. Barron brought in full size trees to try to give instant gratification to the Earl when he saw the new gardens.
Following the Countryside Act in 1968, the estate was sold in 1969 by William Stanhope, the 11th Earl of Harrington to Derbyshire County Council. The Countryside Act proposed the creation of “country parks” “for the enjoyment of the countryside by the public”. The council opened the estate to the public in 1970 and have operated it since then, as Elvaston Castle Country Park.
In 1969, Elvaston was also used as a location for Ken Russell’s film adaptation of the D. H. Lawrence novel Women in Love.
For the last eight years the Derbyshire County Council has been marketing the estate to private companies, claiming that it cannot afford to repair and maintain it but its actions have come to nothing. The latest of these is an attempt to turn the Castle into an hotel and the Park into golf courses. This is being fiercely contested by “The Friends of Elvaston Castle” on behalf of the local community. (info by wikipedia).