Antiquities: Castles

Page ccxxxvi

Magna Britannia: Volume 5, Derbyshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1817.

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Ancient Castles.

The only ancient castles in Derbyshire, of which any considerable remains at present exist are those of Castleton and Codnor; that of Castleton was formerly known by the name of Peak Castle; and is situated on the summit of a high rock, nearly over the entrance of the great cavern, and inaccessible except on one side. It appears to have originally consisted of a plain wall enclosing an area of moderate dimensions, with two small towers on the north sides, and a keep near the south-west corner, being a square tower, measuring 38 feet 2 inches on the outside, and 21 feet 4 inches by 19 feet 3 inches within the walls. It is most probable that this fortress was erected by William Peverell, to whom the manor was given by William the Conqueror, though Mr. King, who has given a particular account of it in the sixth volume of the Archæologia (fn. n1), supposes it to have been built during the Saxon Heptarchy: great part of the walls of the keep, and some remains of the other building are still existing. (fn. n2)

Of Codnor Castle in the parish of Heanor, the ancient seat of the Grey family, there are considerable remains, part of which are now converted into a farm-house. There is a view of them, taken in 1727, in the first volume of Buck's Antiquities. (fn. n3) No part of the ancient castle of Bolsover at present exists; the square castellated building with irregular turrets now called Bolsover-castle (fn. n4), was erected in the reign of James I.


  • n1. P. 247–254.
  • n2. ther is a view of this castel in the first volume of Buck's Antiq. pl.55.
  • n3. Ibid. pl.56.
  • n4. Ibid. pl.53 and 54.