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Willersley Castle


Wiilersley Castle is a stunning stately home standing in gorgeous grounds, occupying a magnificent position on the edge of the Peak District and overlooking the River Derwent. It is on the outskirts of Cromford, just south of the spa town of Matlock. It was commissioned by Sir Richard Arkwright in 1790. He was the great industrialist who developed the water frame , which revolutionised the cotton milling industry, not only for this country, but all around the world. In 1791, severe damage to part of the interior of the castle was caused by a fire, and it provided a major setback in its construction. Unfortunately, Arkwright died in 1792 before completion of the building and his son, also named Richard, moved into the castle with his family in 1796 and continued to live there until 1922.

Many of the original features can still be seen today. The castle is now a wonderful hotel, and the Well Gallery, an oval gallery, which has a glass dome, situated in the centre of the building, showpieces cantilevered galleries on the first and second floors. There is an Adams archway which leads through the building towards the gallery, and the dining rooms, drawing room and music room, all contain their original Adams fireplaces.

In 1927 a group of Methodist businessmen bought the castle as a Methodist Guild Holiday Centre, which opened on 5 May 1928. It became a very popular location for young Methodists, with its bowling green, games field, tennis courts and there which even organised excursions to the Peak District. During the Second World War, it was used as a maternity hospital by the Salvation Army who had relocated there from Clapton in the East End of London. It is said that over 4000 babies were born between 1940 and 1946.

This stunning hotel today boasts being a 200-year-old grade 2 listed building, designed in the Georgian style, standing in 60 acres of grounds. Surrounded by meadows and crags, it really is an ideal base to explore the Peak District, with an area steeped in history.

It now hosts conferences, provides holidays, and caters for residential and day conferences, coach parties and group meals and it is proving to be a very popular quality hotel. There is a leisure club to allow a limited number of local residents to enjoy the facilities of the hotel swimming pool, which measures 15 m x 6 m and has a depth of 1.35 m. There is also a toddler pool measuring 7 m x 3 m, changing rooms, toilets, hair drying facilities, and viewing area for parents to keep an eye on their children, a terrace outdoors and a car park. Towels are also provided.

Just a few miles off the M1, it's a popular venue and the conferences and accommodation is available for  86 guests in the main building and there are meetings rooms to sit up to 100 delegates, including a separate conference room. All bedrooms have wash hand basins antique coffee making facilities and the meeting rooms can accommodate groups from 5 to 100 people depending on which layout you require. The hotel can also provide an overhead projector, a slide projector, TV, VCR and DVD player, as well as flipcharts, a loop system and the PA system. There is also a piano in the music room, the drawing room and in the Mews.