Tours to unveil Buxton’s historic past

Old Hall from Buxton's Pavilion Gardens

Old Hall from Buxton's Pavilion Gardens - Credit: Archant

Two of Buxton’s most historic buildings will be throwing open their doors this month to allow visitors to step back in time and discover the secrets that lie behind some of the town’s most treasured heritage sites

Mary's Bower at the Old Hall hotel

Mary's Bower at the Old Hall hotel - Credit: Archant

The Old Hall Hotel and Discover Buxton are to host free talks and guided tours during Heritage Open Days, a national celebration of local heritage within the community.

History will be brought quite literally to life at Buxton’s Old Hall Hotel between Thursday 11th and Friday 12th September, when the hotel will open its doors to the public with local author Pat Chapman offering a unique insight into the building’s historical past. Built in 1674 by the Earl of Shrewsbury on the sanction of Queen Elizabeth 1st to provide accommodation for Mary Queen of Scots during her house arrest, the Old Hall is thought to be England’s oldest hotel. Today guests can enjoy a luxurious stay in Mary’s Bower, the infamous Queen’s former residence which boasts exquisite furnishings within its grand 4 poster bedroom.

The tours, which are bookable by arrangement with the Old Hall, will allow visitors to see the very room where Mary Queen of Scots was kept prisoner. The Queen’s favoured lady in waiting, Mary Seton, will be recreated by an actor from the Discover Buxton team, who will be in full Tudor dress.

Discover Buxton will be leading tours at the Grade 1 listed Assembly Room of the famous Crescent, where the grandeur of Georgian life will be recreated with a talk by Director of Discover Buxton tours, Netta Christie, on the 13th and 14th of September at 2pm. The exclusive visit is a unique opportunity to hear the intriguing stories of this fascinating and turbulent era, where periwigs were the height of fashion and the spa town was fast becoming the place to be amongst high society.

Netta Christie of Discover Buxton comments: ‘We’re very excited to be taking part in the Heritage Open Days and delighted to share Discover Buxton’s knowledge of this unique historic town - the events offer an opportunity to experience life as it existed from the late 1600’s until the late 1700s.’

Sally Burton, Marketing Manager at the Old Hall, added: ‘These special events are just the start of a new Mary Queen of Scots tour that we’ll be launching in conjunction with Discover Buxton from mid-September, providing a unique opportunity for guests to delve back into history and find out more about this exciting era.

‘We will be open for morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner throughout the events and welcome visitors old and new to pop in to find out more about the hotel’s fascinating past and perhaps even try a slice of Mary’s cake, which we launched this year to pay homage to our most famous guest.’

For more information about The Old Hall Hotel visit or call 01298 22841. For more information about Discover Buxton, visit or call 01298 79648.