Featured image of Elvaston Castle

The History Of Elvaston Castle

LocationElvaston, Derbyshire, England (Google Maps)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byDerbyshire County Council, Earl of Harrington
Rooms AvailableYes (Filming)

Elvaston Castle and Elvaston Castle Country Park has approximately 321 acres of open parkland, woodland, and more formal historical gardens attracting over 350,000 visitors every year.


Elvaston Castle was built for William Stanhope, the first member of the Stanhope family to be granted the title of Earl of Harrington. He took his seat in the House of Lords on Monday 22nd July 1717 and became the first Earl of Harrington in 1742. However, an Elvaston Hall existed on this site during the reign of Edward IV when Walter Blount occupied it. Sir Michael Stanhope was gifted the manors of Shelford and Elvaston during the reign of Henry VIII in 1538. The Stanhope family first came to Elvaston then. Successive Earls of Harrington continued to occupy the house until the 11th Earl of Harrington left Elvaston and moved to his estates in Ireland in 1939.

Elvaston Castle was taken over by 147 students and teachers from Derby Tertiary Training College when they were evacuated from Derby at the outbreak of World War II. Post War, the castle remained unoccupied until 1963, when it was sold to a quarry company, Needlers Development. The castle and 390 acres of the property subsequently went up for sale and were jointly bought by Derbyshire County Council and Derby Corporation to establish England’s first country park. Many local and broader Derbyshire residents have benefited from school visits, weekend events, or enjoyed a walkover to become familiar with the richly diverse landscape. The working estate museum closed in the 1990s. Today both the castle and gardens are of distinct architectural and historical interest.


Elvaston Castle
Elvaston Castle by JThomas licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Elvaston Castle is a Gothic Revival form of structure designed in the early 1800s by James Wyatt. It was based on the original house dating back to 1633. Unfortunately, James could not see the Elvaston Hall to completion as he died in a coaching accident in Marlborough Downs in September 1813. The work was left to his assistant Robert Walker who supervised the actual building program from 1815 to 1819. The Grade II listed country house forms the centrepiece of a 350-acre estate. It includes 16 Grade II buildings and a Grade II registered park and Garden.

The Estate holds structures such as the recently renovated golden gates, Moorish temple, and ha-ha wall present a fascinating glimpse of the past. The gardens are renowned for their rockwork structures and beautiful topiary pieces that William Barron designed in the 19th century.

Movie Features

Women in love (1969)– Elvaston Castle is featured in the Romance- Drama about two best friends who fall in love with two women, but the relationships soon go in very different directions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Elvaston Castle?

Elvaston Castle is located in the village of Elvaston, County of Derbyshire, near Derby and Nottingham in England.

Why was Elvaston Castle built?

Elvaston Castle was built and designed for William Stanhope, the first from the Stanhope family to be accorded the title of Earl of Harrington.

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