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Castle History

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SHADOWS OF THE PAST


A PAST STUDENT'S TOUR OF THE CASTLE
You all know of EIvaston Castle and, more than likely, the running battle to decide its future, the furore and public feeling it has stirred up against the Derbyshire County Council, willing to let one of the few national, historic edifices close to the capital of the county (Derby), be desecrated and sacrificed to satisfy the whims of a monied minority to spend their extended leisure, basking in up-market hotel luxury.
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WHO SAYS WE HADN'T A GHOST?
Roy Christian, writing in a Derbyshire magazine some years ago called Elvaston "the strangest castle of all Derbyshire stately homes"! He continues, "Everything about it is unexpected, almost weird, so the absence of a ghost is in itself surprising." Well, firstly I'd take issue with the label 'strange'. I've heard many say that when you've seen one stately home, you've seen them all and I can agree to a point that there is a certain sameness about many, but that remark of Christian's re the 'unexpected' is what makes Elvaston not Weird but Unique.
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MY ELVASTON CASTLE DREAM
The war had waged for six long years but, tis an ill wind blows no good,
Thus, we found ourselves resited, where usually gentry stood.
The house was castellated, with a lovely lake in view,
Bedecked with isles and willows, backed by rocks and woodland, too.
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ELVASTON CASTLE PRAYER
I stand here, in retiring years baying to the moon,
To save our precious Elvaston, whose fate is sealed e'er soon!
How could they betray you so? I cry out in my pain;
To cast aside, in one fell blow, All we stand to gain.
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RECOLLECTIONS
My earliest recollection of Elvaston Castle is standing in one of the stable doorways watching the gentry partaking of the stirrup cup, prior to riding out on the hunt. This would be the mid 1930's. Years later, 1973 to 1978, I had the privilege of working here as a Derbyshire County Council Countryside Ranger.
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ELVASTON CASTLE
For two years was my home; I love its every feature.
Every stick and stone I love the grounds around it,
The lake, the rocks, the trees;
Its shrubs, pagoda, hedges, They all, do me, much please.
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FROM MY CASTLE BALCONY
In the cold night air and gathering gloom,
The dark mist swirled from it's watery tomb;
Gyrating towards, then receding and taunting,
As if holding some creature, pleadingly haunting.
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