Mary Queen of Scots
A hotel fit for a Queen
Queen Mary had to give one hours notice if she wished to leave her apartments and was allowed no visitors after 9pm. Nevertheless, records indicate that Mary looked forward to her summers at the New Hall and regularly took the waters. The Earl himself seemed to enjoy the company of the Queen of Scots as the hall became the fashionable place to be, with many of the most eminent nobles of the court visiting. He provided lavish banquets and gave gifts of fowl and venison, fruit and wine from his estates; all to the apparent annoyance of Queen Elizabeth.
According to the Royal Commission on Historic Monuments of England, the New Hall was confirmed by a charter of 1576 which describes it as ‘that capital message or tenement called the “New Hall” or the Inne of the Sign of Talbot.
As well as the unfortunate Queen Mary, many prominent Elizabethans stayed at the Hall during her residency including the Earl of Leicester, the Earl of Pembroke, the Earl of Suffolk and Lord Burghley. At one stage it became the regular venue for the highest nobility of the land and the centre for court intrigues and traitorous planning against the crown of England. It was said that the future of England was determined more at the hall in Buxton than in London. Consequently it became known as ‘That house of Royal intrigue‘.
Mary Queen of Scots scratched her famous couplet of Farewell to Buxton with a diamond ring on one of the bedroom window panes: ‘Buxton, whose warm waters have made thy name famous, perchance I shall visit thee no more-Farewell‘