The Old Hall Hotel
Dating back to 1576, The New Hall, as it was known then, was built by the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury. The countess - perhaps better known as 'Bess of Hardwick' - also gave us Hardwick Hall and Chatsworth House. The children from her first marriage to Sir William Cavendish created the line of the Dukes of Devonshire. Built to provide accommodation for Mary Queen of Scots (who was under house arrest at the time, in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury) the New Hall was constructed over the foundations of an earlier hostelry known as the Auld Hall, on the site of a natural warm spring.
It was thought that the Duke of Devonshire demolished the 1576 building when he rebuilt the hall in 1670, but the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments established that the original building still stands behind the facade and extension of the Duke's building. From 1982 The Old Hall was owned by Louise Potter who, over the years, did her best to renovate the property. The historic building has now been acquired by the Trevor Osborne Property Group and CP Holdings "as a part of their long-term operational strategy".


The Crescent Hotels
The Crescent, built 1780 - 1789 by the 5th Duke of Devonshire, included a ball room, assembly room and the Duke's town house. By 1804 he had given up his accommodation and it had become the Centre Hotel with hotels to each side: St Ann's Hotel to the west and the Great Hotel to the east. By the early 1900s there were just two hotels: St. Ann's and the Crescent Hotel, which, according to a period advertisement, was patronised by Her Majesty Queen Victoria and boasted "Direct access by covered collonade to the Buxton Mineral Water Baths, Gardens, Pavilion and Opera House". Guests also enjoyed the luxury of an "Electric Passenger Elevator" and a "Magnificent Adam dining room (finest in the Kingdom)"
A hotel remained on the western side until the mid 1980s, but closed when its owners were unwilling - or perhaps unable - to pay for essential repairs and restoration. After the closure of the hotels the Crescent was used as Council offices, Clinic and Public Library. The premises were vacated in 1992 when major structural problems were found in the Assembly Rooms.

The enire Crescent remains empty to this day - although in 2003 Europe’s largest spa hotel operator, Danubius, won the opportunity to resurrect the historic thermal spa complex which will include an 87-bedroom four-star hotel.


The Crescent Hotel from the days when C J Smilter was proprietor. Advertising postcards of the time boasted that the hotel's dining room (right) was the "finest example of Adam decoration in the kingdom"
The Empire Hotel

A little further from the town centre than other hotels, the Empire (circled) could be seen for miles
At one time the Empire was the most expensive hotel in Buxton. In 1911 a single room cost 6/6 (six shillings and sixpence) per night compared to the Palace's more modest 5 shillings.


Three 'takeovers' occurred during the Empire's lifetime. In WW1 it was requisitioned as a hospital for Canadian forces - later becoming their Discharge Depot. In WW2 it was taken over by the British army and, soon after the war, it was taken over by squatters! (Apparently the squatters lived there for quite some time despite the lack of 'facilities'). The magnificent building was demolished in 1964. Chatsworth Lodge now occupies the Carlisle Road site.
Haddon Hall Hydro

circa 1906

100 years later, time has taken it's toll.
By 1954 the hotel had become "Electricity Hall" - home of the Electricity Board.
After a spell as flats and bedsits the former Hydro is now little more than an empty shell

In a state of neglect and disrepair, this once proud establishment is currently up for sale. Let's hope that it is restored rather than demolished!


The Palace Hotel
At a cost of £100,000, the Palace Hotel began life in 1868 as The Buxton Hotel. The magnificent exterior was designed by Henry Currey, architect to the 7th Duke of Devonshire.


With the demise of the town's other 'grand' hotels the 122-bedroom Palace is now the largest in Buxton. Its elevated position means it can be seen from almost anywhere in town. Recently taken over by Barcelo Hotels and Resorts its future looks assured.
Grove Hotel
The Grove Hotel on Grove Parade began as a coffee house around 1770, evolving into a busy coaching house when the Manchester road was diverted and six coaches passed through Buxton every day. The shops and iron and glass canopy were added in 1883. Note the proliferation of 'street furniture' since the 1930s photograph (left)


The Savoy (or Burlington) Hotel

Photo contributed by Mike Whibberley

Completed in 1874 - and originally named the Burlington Hotel - this fine Grade II listed building was designed by Robert Rippon Duke (who also designed the Octagon and remodeled the Devonshire Hospital). The above photograph dates from later years by which time it had been renamed the Savoy Hotel

Location: bottom of Hall Bank at junction with Broad Walk.


In recent years the building was converted into private apartments.

Buxton Hydropathic (Spa Hotel)

The palatial Buxton Hydro Hotel, where, in 1924, five hundred people sat down to Christmas Dinner (amid claims that a further 700 were turned away for lack of accommodation!)

Changing times led to a decline in guests and, despite a change of name to the Spa Hotel, numbers continued to decline.

The once proud complex was demolished in 1973.

Peter Lomas (third cousin of HRP Lomas who ran the Hydro for 58 years) has written a book about the hotel. For more about the hotel and the book, visit Peter's site


George Hotel

is 1885 engraving shows the George Hotel in its glory days. Over recent years part of the building has been used as apartments (George Mansions) and The George pub.

The hotel has now been acquired by The Trevor Osborne Group and C P Holdings who promise to turn the dilapidated building into "a vibrant place to eat, drink and relax"