Although Buxton is surrounded by Derbyshire hills it's also the highest town in England so on a rather cold day on Friday we spent some time in the more sheltered area of the Pavilion Gardens before walking up the hill to have lunch in a pub near the market square in High Buxton. The walks along by the River Wye where there are several old ironwork bridges, large ponds with fountains, a bandstand and other interesting features were originally landscaped by Sir Joseph Paxton (well known for his other architectural design work in places such as the gardens and glasshouses of Chatsworth House in the same county under the patronage of the 6th Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish).
more ducklings... these were swimming away from us downstream
so the photos are not very clear
The 19th century glass and iron pavilion was surrounded by scaffolding in the area known as the Octagon and below is what it looked like during our last visit. In one area of the pavilion complex native and tropical plants are housed and the photos below are also from that last visit. Various events are usually held in the pavilion complex so I'm sure the different organisations are hoping that the structural work will be completed soon.
The Opera House next to the pavilion is another popular venue for concerts, dance and drama and the annual Buxton Festival in July.
The Old Hall Hotel was originally Buxton Hall which was built by George Talbot, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, the husband of Bess of Hardwick. It was built over a natural spring of warm mineral waters and was the site of the Roman Baths and before that a Celtic sacred spot because of this water source. Buxton continued to be known as a health spa when the 5th Duke of Devonshire built The Crescent which included a ballroom and assembly room . The Pump Room was built in the late 19th century and thermal water was taken there. These days water can still be sampled from the drinking fountain called St. Ann's Well. It's one of the natural water sources around the town that is decorated during the well dressing ceremony each July. At the moment more construction work seems to be taking place in The Crescent so instead of going that way we walked up Terrace Road which is bordered on one side by another grassy area called The Slopes. Looking down from this height the huge slate dome of what was once the stabling block for the Duke of Devonshire's horses, built in 1857, can be seen. The dome was added a few decades later and at the time it was the largest unsupported dome in the world with a span of 154 feet. Part of the stabling block was used as a hospital and the building was called the Devonshire Royal Hospital. Now the building is part of Derby University.
a street of fine houses overlooking the Pavilion Gardens
The Town Hall in the Market Square
We sat in a corner of a local pub and had a fish and chip lunch.
After lunch we had a good half hour browsing
in this bookshop opposite the pub as there were several floors stuffed
full of second hand and antiquarian books, book kits for making books,
collections of old postcards to purchase and other stationery.
There's a bookbinding service, opportunities to get involved
with workshops and there's also a small Victorian museum in the basement.
Half an hour wasn't long enough for some of the family group to look around.
On the way out of Buxton I took this photo from the car window.
This great fan window is the only surviving part of one of the train sheds
for the London and North Western Railway Company line which
was one of the lines that served Buxton. It was designed and built
with the guidance of Joseph Paxton who was at that time a director
of the Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway Company.
We enjoyed our family outing to Buxton and I'm sure we'll be back again sometime soon as I would like to see the area around The Crescent when it's more accessible.