Excerpts from 900 word article


It must have been a splendid town back then, when the rich and royal came here to ease their aching bones. In my mind's eye I can see it all: the horse-drawn carriages lined up outside The Crescent, and guests in bathrobes padding along hotel corridors to the spa's promise of renewed health. Elegantly attired visitors stroll in the lovely Pavilion Gardens. Some stop for Afternoon Tea, others opt for water so graciously served in the Pump Room, and talk turns to the merits of this town's blue springs bubbling through the ground at a constant 28 deg (82F).

Nestled in the Derbyshire hills 1000 feet above sea level, Buxton was first developed as a spa town by the Romans. In medieval times the springs were dedicated to St Ann, mother of the Virgin Mary. Their curative powers were widely acclaimed in the 1500s, when a rheumatic Mary Queen of Scots attended the baths from the Earl of Shrewsbury's estate where she was being held prisoner. But it was the 5th Duke of Devonshire, owner of much of the town and surrounding countryside in the 1700s, who decided Buxton should rival Bath and Cheltenham in grandeur as a spa town.

An architect was commissioned to build accommodation befitting wealthy patrons. He designed The Crescent, a handsomely curved building with Doric columns and a paved shopping arcade ...

Like so many of Europe's old spa towns, Buxton's aim was to restore both body and soul. To this end, the 23-acre Pavilion Gardens were developed with paths and footbridges over the River Wye which prettily winds its way through them. Pavilion buildings include a vast walk-through conservatory alive with exotic flowers.