The Terrace Range

The Terrace Range by jo-h

The Terrace Range by jo-h

The Terrace Range was constructed in the 1630’s on the orders of William Cavendish.  His aim was to create a set of banqueting halls and state rooms that would be fit for Royalty.  William Cavendish had the ambition to become Master of the Horse to the King Charles I, having already been entrusted with the education of Charles’ son, the future Charles II.  To gain this honour he would need to have a grand house, suitable for the lavish banquets required to entertain the King and his court.

The Terrace Range was not built all in one go, but was built, extended and updated over a period of 40-50 years. The Northern end of was converted from an earlier house around the same time that the Little Castle was being built (around 1612 onwards).  Next the Long Gallery and Great Chamber were added to create the massive dining and entertaining area that was required to impress royalty. Later, the great Chamber was given an upper storey and elaborate curved gables.  Finally, after William Cavendish’s return from exile in the 1660’s the state rooms were rebuilt and updated to the styles that were popular at the time.

The Terrace Range at Bolsover Castle

Bolsover Terrace Range by Steve-p via Flickr

Downstairs in this set of buildings you can still see the giant kitchens and larders that would have provided the food for hundreds of guests.  The rooms are ruined but the scale of some of the fireplaces and ovens hints at the requirements these parties had.

The ruined and tumble down nature of the Terrace Range as it appears today makes it hard to visualize the opulence of the decoration and furnishings that would have adorned the building when it was in use.  However, the scale of the buildings and the designs of the remaining stonework enable one to imagine the scale of celebrations and parties that could have occurred.