Take a look inside John Carr's Grade I Listed Gem
Built in 1780, the Crescent was a revolutionary new type of building and the forerunner of the hotel as we know it today – an idea brought to Britain from the continent to serve the ever-increasing numbers ‘taking the waters’ at Buxton Spa.
The Crescent originally comprised two hotels, St Ann’s and The Great Hotel. In addition, there were originally seven lodging houses, including a town house for the Duke of Devonshire himself, but soon the hotels were to expand towards the centre of the Crescent, progressively absorbing these individual dwellings.
On the ground floor shops were ranged beneath the arcade and included a draper, druggist, perfumer, hair and wig dresser, a post office and a lending library. In the basement food was prepared for guests, but more often brought in from a variety of taverns and chop houses across Buxton.
The Assembly Rooms, part of the ‘Great Hotel’ at the eastern end of the Crescent were the hub of 18th Century social life, where visitors danced, met friends and played cards. Residents of the Crescent would visit each other ‘at home’ to drink tea and catch up on the gossip about new arrivals at the spa.
The Crescent was the brainchild of the 5th Duke of Devonshire and designed by John Carr of York, his architect, appointed for the ‘improvement of Buxton’. It is without doubt one of the finest buildings of its kind anywhere in the world and is, as the Duke intended, a fitting rival to the crescents of Bath.
The Crescent is now the subject of a major restoration project being a partnership between The Trevor Osborne Property Group, CP Holdings Limited, Danubius Hotels, High Peak Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council with major funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is anticipated that the five-star 79 bedroom hotel and thermal spa will open its doors again in Spring 2015. A brand new visitor interpretation centre will also be housed in The Pump Room opposite the hotel where visitors to Buxton will yet again be able to take the waters.
More information – www.buxtoncrescent.co.uk