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Chatsworth                Here in a lovely park stands one of Englands greatest houses, home of the Dukes of Devonshire.  The first house was built by Bess of Hardwick starting in 1552.  Mary Queen of Scots was a prisoner at Chatsworth at various times between 1569-1584.  Alterations to the original house began in 1686 by the 1st Duke of Devonshire (formerly 4th Earl of Cavendish) and continued until just before his death in 1707.  The house from the outside is imposing but inside is full of beauty, elegance and splendour.  The rooms are full of paintings antiques & some of the finest furnishings in the country.  Much of the fine carving both in wood and in stone is the work of Samuel Watson of Heanor.  The gardens outside where loosely designed by Capability Brown during the 1760s but most of what you see today is the work of Joseph Paxton who was a friend of the 6th Duke and eventually went on to design the Crystal Palace in London. The waterworks in the gardens are outstanding, the cascade, fountains canal pond & the magnificent emperor fountain which can throw a jet of water over 290 feet and is operated solely by the water pressure of the head of water from the large pond constructed on the top of the hill.  A visit to remember in such a beautiful setting.
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Creswell crags            This dramatic limestone gorge has witnessed dramatic changes in climate during the past 12,000 years.  Where Hyenas & Woolly Mammoths would roam and Neanderthal man lived.  The early cave dwellers where some of our earliest ancestors to inhabit Britain.  From early excavations in the caves, we have found the remains of animal bones and stone tools.  More recently just 3 years ago, original wall & ceiling engravings where discovered depicting, Mammoths, Reindeer and Buffalo.  Rich drawings from over 10,000 years ago.
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Derby                           
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Galleries of justice (Nottingham)          Situated in the most historic part of Nottingham in the City`s Lace Market. was in use as a court and prison from 1780 till 1980.  Although there have been court buildings on this site since 1375 and a prison since 1449.  In ages past the hangings from the gallows took place on the front steps.  Over the centuries many thousands of people have walked through the front doors not knowing their fate and feeling a sense of dread for the their future.  Some would have been sentenced to imprisonment, some to deportation and some to be executed.  Visit the court, prison cells, exercise yard and a chilling view of the gallows.  Look for the graffiti written into the brickwork on the walls of the exercise yard.  Walk through the layers of time, through the dark corridors deep in the caverns below the buildings.  A historical visit bringing to life the social deprivation of 18th & 19th Century England.
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Grimsthorpe castle, park & gardens    Home to the Earls of Lancaster, the De Eresby family have lived here since 1516.  There has been a building on this site since the reign of King John (1199-1216) and that tower can still be seen in the building standing today.  The building, as you see it, mostly dates back to 1540ís but has been altered and added to many times.  Henry VIII visited a number of times and members of the family were Lord Great Chamberlains to seven Kings, helping them to accumulate a great wealth.  The treasures housed inside have been collected by generations and display a cross sections of British history.  Including a dress worn by Charles I in a portrait by Van Dyck, robes worn by sovereigns since James II and the table Queen Victoria signed her accession.  Along with tapestries and art from the great masters.
The park and gardens extend to over 2000acres with parts landscaped by Capability Brown.  Formal gardens, woodland, lakes and deer parks something for everyone.
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Hardwick Hall            One of England's greatest Elizabethan houses.  A monument to its builder Bess of Hardwick, in her time one of the most powerful women in the country.  To make sure she was not forgotten and this house was her creation she had her initials inscribed on the four massive square towers of the west front.  The present building (now in the keeping of the National Trust) is known as the New Hall.  The ruined shell of the old hall where Bess was born in 1520 stands a short distance away.  Bess was married 4 times and with each marriage she became more powerful and richer.  Her final marriage to the Earl of Shrewsbury from which she became a widow at the age of 70 in 1590.  One year after he died Bess at the grand old age of 71 began the building of the New Hall, it took 7/8 years to build.  Look close at the building you will see more glass than stone in the walls.  No fewer than 50 windows in the West front alone.  The interior is richly decorated with beautiful plasterwork, magnificent tapestries, needlework and 16th Century furniture and paintings.
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Lincoln                        The most ancient part of this historic city occupies a rugged hill top rising over 200 feet above the river Witham.  Evidence has been found of occupation by Celtic people who called the settlement Lindon.  On the arrival of the Roman IXth legion in A.D.47 the name was Latinised to Lindum Colonia.  Geographical position, elevation and the river all helped to make Lincoln an important centre even from those pre Roman days.  Roman Lincoln had fine colannaded streets and elaborate public baths, also drinking water supplied in earthenware pipes under pressure from over one and a half miles away.  When the Romans departed they left behind a road and canal system, sewers, working farms and a wealth of tiles and stone.  During the Anglo-Saxon times, Lincoln was a part of the kingdom of Mercia.  With the arrival of the Danes Lincoln became a part of the Danelaw where streets like Saltergate, Danesgate & Hungate bear witness (similar to York)  The Normans made Lincoln one of the most important cities in the kingdom.  The castle was built in 1068 just 2 years after the Battle of Hastings.  The city is full of wonderful buildings, cobb hall 14th Century, a fine Norman house at 15 The Stait.  The castle square some lovely 16th Century buildings, Greyfriars a 13th Century building originally designed as a Church (now the museum) the list is endless.  The city is now a busy place providing employment to many thousands in the engineering industry.
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Lincoln Castle                Founded by William the Conqueror in 1068, built to be a invulnerable stronghold.  The battlemented castle is most impressive.  The enclosed area encompasses approx 6 acres with lawns and trees. The walls are 8 to 10ft thick and double that amount in height.  Two great detached mounds on the South side are the observatory tower, with great views of Lincoln and the uprights of the Norman keep.  Cobb Hall was added in the 14th Century to be used as a place of punishment.  One can still see the iron rings to which prisoners where fastened to.  The roof of the tower was a place of public execution till 1868.  One of the original copies of Magna Carta is still kept here.  One other interesting feature to look out for within the passage of the castle gateway is all that is left of the Eleanor Cross.  This was positioned close the priory where the body of Eleanor of Castile, the wife of Edward the 1st was embalmed before starting on its famous journey South to Westminster Abbey. This, the first of the crosses erected at each resting place of her body on its funeral procession from Nottinghamshire to the Capital.  The last one at Charing Cross in London where the body lay on the final night before burial at the Abbey.
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Robin Hood Country    The legend of Robin Hood has grown from origins as dark and mysterious as the woodland glades that were once his home.  No-one has ever been able to reveal the true identity of the elusive outlaw.  Was he Robin of Loxley, the Saxon Yeoman, or Robin the deposed Earl of Huntingdon.  10 minutes walk from the visitor centre, on the very edge of the present forest is the village of Edwinstowe a historic settlement and well established by the Middle Ages, the village church of St Mary is said to be the place where Robin married Maid Marion.  Of course Sherwood Forest of Robins day was far more extensive than the present woodland and would have stretched far out towards Nottingham itself.  You should find time to visit the major oak just a short walk away and reputed to be 800 years old.  The forest however must look very much as it did during Robin Hoods time.
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