The Duke of Devonshire
A new beginning
When the Duke of Devonshire rebuilt the hall in 1670 it was always thought that he demolished the Earl of Shrewsbury;s 1576 building, but the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments in England have shown that the original building still stands behind the facade and extension of the Duke’s building.
If you look along the main reception hall from the hotel entrance, the older building starts at the far walls of the two resident’s lounges on either side of the hallway. These were the original exterior walls and are 3ft thick. The hallway from this point is the original building. All the doorways on either side are entered through Elizabethan stone arched lintels. The original building was in the form of a fortified four storey tower. You can see a drawing of this tower at the base of the ‘John Speed‘ framed map of Derbyshire opposite the reception.
When the Duke built the Crescent and Pump Room, he was establishing Buxton as one of the leading Georgian spa towns of the country. Although many large hotels were built, the Old Hall still retained its special position as the fashionable hotel to stay and be seen at. It became a centre for the Georgian aristocracy taking the air and waters of Buxton.