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Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust work to conserve and celebrate the rich history of our town and the mineral springs beneath.

Latest news, blogs and updates

NLHF funding

Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust is delighted to announce significant support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund which will enable the charity to be more sustainable and resilient, building a reputation

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University of Derby Survey

University of Derby and Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust have a long and productive relationship. Before the Trust even opened the Crescent Experience and Buxton Visitor Centre, Derby students were busy

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Trustees Week 2022

The Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust is supported by a wonderful team of Trustees who offer their expert knowledge on all topics from conserving our wonderful built assets, to finance, marketing,

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Pump Room Available!

Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust offers a free venue to local community groups Does your community group need a venue? Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust are excited to announce that, with the

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About the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust

The redevelopment and restoration of The Crescent, Natural Baths and Pump Room secured major investments of over £50 million which included a £23.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, over £20.5 million in private funding from the Buxton Crescent & Thermal Spa Co Ltd, a £2 million grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partner-ship and more than £0.6 million from Historic England. Between them, High Peak Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council are also contributed over £2.5 million.

A small part of the overall funding package supported the work of the Trust until 2021.

Following completion of the project the Trust will be responsible for the long-term preservation of the buildings and for running the visitor experience.  The Trust is a separate and independent entity and will receive no long term public funding.

The Trust was established with the vision of creating an inspiring and sustainable Visitor Experience for residents and visitors alike.  As well as working on the restoration and reopening of the Buxton Pump Room as the Buxton Visitor Centre, the Trust opened the Buxton Crescent Visitor Experience – a new visitor attraction which celebrates the town’s rich spa heritage, fascinating Crescent characters and the major restoration and renaissance of the Crescent. The important shared heritage and history of the Crescent and Chatsworth will also be explored with support from the Trust’s Patron, the Duke of Devonshire.

As well as programming a year round events programme at the Pump Room and beyond, the Trust organise learning visits for schools and groups in partnership with Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and other local organisations.

We are pleased to have our events programme up-and-running again, with the added glory of 60 days of events and tours annually in the magnificent Assembly Rooms, starting in November 2021.

Our Charitable aims​

The charity’s objects are specifically restricted to the following:   

(a) For the public benefit to advance education on the subjects of: (i) Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa;
(ii) the history of Buxton and its surrounding area;
(iii) the history of other thermal spas and thermal spa towns;
and
(iv) the history of health and medicine (b) Promoting the preservation and heritage of the physical and natural environment of the Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa and its surroundings.

Our Trustees

The Duke of Devonshire – Patron

Jennifer Spencer – Chair

Pippa Pollard

Tina Heathcote

Cllr Tony Kemp (Derbyshire County Council)

David Lowther (Chair of Trading Company Board)

Alice Martin (Chair of Assets Advisory Board)

Lady Lynn McLoughlin

Liz Page

Dr Sarah Rawlinson

Victoria Reeves

Cllr Jean Todd (High Peak Borough Council)

Special Advisors

Richard Tuffrey

Dr Peter Collinge

The Duke of Devonshire

Patron

Project Partners

The Buxton Crescent project has been a huge collaborative effort over many years with a strong group of dedicated partners.  With the restoration and refurbishment finally completed, the following organisations have been integral to making Buxton’s dreams come true:

History - The Crescent

The Crescent was built between 1779 and 1789, to the design of John Carr of York.  It was created to provide good quality accommodation in the town and was intended to become the principal attraction and centrepiece of the Fifth Duke of Devonshire’s attempts to make Buxton compete with Bath as a spa of national importance.  It was serviced by the Great Stables, also by Carr, situated to the north of the Crescent, which later became the Devonshire Royal Hospital and is now the Buxton campus for the University of Derby. 

The Crescent originally featured two purpose built hotels – the Crescent Hotel within the East pavilion and the St Ann’s Hotel in the West Pavilion. Six lodging houses separated the two hotels, these and the hotels provided accommodation for Georgian aristocrats and elite visitors who travelled to Buxton to bathe in and drink the restorative thermal mineral waters. The magnificent Assembly Room was the venue for balls, social gatherings.

The Crescent Hotel closed in the early part of the 20th century. It was used as a geriatric annex to the Devonshire Royal Hospital before being bought by Derbyshire County Council (DCC) in the 1970s. DCC used it as offices and the public library until 1992 when it was closed due to structural defects. The St Ann’s Hotel carried on trading until 1989.

History - The Pump Room

The Grade II listed Pump Room was constructed in 1894, replacing John Carr’s structure it was designed by Henry Currey (1820-1900) as the answer to increasing congestion at the well. The building cost £5,000 and had been commissioned by the 7th Duke of Devonshire William Cavendish (1808-1891). However, the Duke died before its completion so it was opened by his son 8th Duke Spencer Cavendish (1833- 1908) who in a speech to the people of Buxton noted the previous buildings inadequate size and that the town’s inhabitants and visitors “were not satisfied with being merely cured; they must be cured in their own way and at the least possible inconvenience to themselves”.

Initially the Pump Room was a success, offering both water and a fashionable place to relax and commune. However, from the 1950s efforts to reduce running costs took precedence and by the 1970s the building was repurposed as Buxton’s information centre.

Access to the water was still possible, but when the building became a Micrarium, where visitors viewed tiny exhibits through microscopes, the well finally shut. The Pump Room closed to the public in 1997. The space was used for events during 2017 and 2018 then reopened officially as Buxton’s new Visitor Centre in early 2019.

Oral History Project - Present From The Past

Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Buxton & District U3A and Discover Buxton have been working on a project since 2016 to capture memories and create an audio archive for the Crescent, Pump Room, Natural Baths and town.
Buxton’s ‘Present from the Past’ project has been capturing stories, sound-bites and audio snap-shots of the town and are effectively helping to bring the rich history of Buxton to life.
These recordings courtesy of Anne Rogerson and Viv Doyle.

The memories collected will be deposited at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and the Derbyshire Record Office and be part of the Musuem’s website Wonders of the Peak as well as help inform the development of the Buxton Crescent Heritage Experience.

The fascinating recollections will also support future research and inspire education and community projects and events in the future.

Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust and Buxton Museum and Art Gallery are grateful for the support the Bingham Trust has given this project.

If you have memories of the Crescent, Pump Room, Natural Baths or town you would like to share please email: hello@buxtoncrescenttrust.org or call: 01298 214577

We hope you enjoy listening to the following oral history clips.

 

 

 

 

Oliver Gomersall remembers bathing in the Natural Baths in the 1930’s
Lyn’s memories of the chandeliers in the Crescent Assembly Room
Nick Lawrence MD of Medussa Stonemasonry on the challenges of working on the Crescent
Scott Hammond – Architect describes the Crescent’s structure above the river Wye
Nick Laurence MD of Medussa Stonemasonry discusses the front and back of the Crescent

Media

Images reproduced with kind permission from Buxton Museum and Art GalleryDerbyshire County Council.

FAQ

The Crescent is now completed and open.  The majority of the building is part of the Ensana Buxton Crescent Health Spa hotel (including parts of the thermal mineral baths). The Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust manage a visitor attraction within the Crescent, the Buxton Visitor Centre in the Victorian Pump Room opposite, and have access for events in the Assembly Rooms for 60 days a year.

Pay and Display Parking bays are located on The Square by Buxton Opera House.
Free Parking is available after 6pm.

Town Centre Car Parks:

  • Buxton Town Hall
  • Pavilion Gardens
  • Spring Gardens Shopping Centre

Our visitor experience is located on the ground floor and in cellar spaces of The Buxton Crescent.

It tells the tale of this remarkable building, the mineral spring it’s built upon, and the many fascinating characters involved in its story.

You can enjoy the attraction at your own pace or with our expert hosts, who 

Tickets for the Experience are available via our website www.buxtoncrescentexperience.com or from the Buxton Visitor Centre in The Pump Room.

We recommend booking ahead as slots may be fully booked on busy days.

The Trust is a registered charity that has been established to help preserve the stunning Crescent buildings and to create and operate an inspiring visitor experience in The Crescent and Visitor Centre. Find out more about the Trust here.

You can join our mailing list by completing our Contact form, or follow us via the Social media links at the top and bottom of this webpage. 

Supported and sponsored by

Our visitor experience...

tells the stories of Buxton, The Crescent, its famous water and the many people who came to seek its cure. Click here to read more.

Our Premium Guided Tours set off in the morning, where you can dive deep into the rich history of our area aided by our warm and wonderful hosts.

For those who prefer to discover at their own pace, the Experience opens to Self-Guided visitors at 1pm.

Large group? Or a sensory tour during quiet times? Please contact us and we can help get that arranged.