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  • Writer's pictureBaroness Bolsover

5 Reasons why you SIMPLY MUST Visit Bolsover | Baroness Bolsover

Updated: 9 hours ago

Firstly, to meet me! It’s not every day one gets to chat with a REAL Victorian Baroness.

Baroness Bolsover enjoying her Afternoon Tea

Baroness Bolsover’s Town Tour with Afternoon Tea

Join me in the summer months for an unforgettable stroll through the historic streets of Bolsover. As we walk the ancient paths, I’ll not only point out the many fascinating landmarks, but I’ll tell you all about my great Cavendish family, my Royal Family connections, along with secrets and scandals and the reason why I was forced to return to London!

 

You can ask me all your questions on this unique interactive tour with yours truly. And once we get to know each other we can even share a little gossip! What FUN!

 

Enjoy A Truly Scrumptious Afternoon Tea

Following your tour, I’ll take you to your reserved seating area at the delightful Castle Tea Rooms where you’ll enjoy a specular Afternoon Tea. Forming part of the Craft Courtyard of Old Bolsover Yard, this historic building as I recall was a butcher’s yard in the 1880’s! You can imagine how thrilled I am to see it’s now a lovely traditional Tea Room.

 

Whether you choose to take your Afternoon Tea outdoors or indoors, I will of course make sure you’re sitting correctly at the tea table and that you know EXACTLY HOW TO HOLD YOUR TEACUP before leaving you to dive into a feast fit for Royalty!



As a special treat for your Afternoon Tea Party, you’ll be offered Baroness Bolsover's Afternoon Tea Blend. I’ve created this special hostess's tea blend for my guests to enjoy, just like we did in Victorian times. It’s a truly traditional taste which I know you’ll adore and keep asking for more!

 

However, this does bring us onto the delicate matter of MILK OR TEA FIRST? Don’t worry, I shall explain the etiquette of what is possibly the most hotly debated of all tea related issues and make sure you're the crème de la crème of the Tea Party!  


My Beloved Bolsover Castle

After you’ve enjoyed your Town Tour & Afternoon Tea you may like to complete your day out with a visit to the famous castle which has been in my family for over 400 years.

You’ll find out all about my great ancestor William Cavendish, who, along with his father Charles Cavendish, built this magnificent building in the early 1600’s.  You’ll also discover what he and his friends got up to in the numerous private closets found inside the main building. The Castle is often referred to as his ‘Pleasure Palace’. I’ll say no more. But, DO look at the frescoes on the ceilings and you can make up your own mind about William Cavendish! 

A fresco in Bolsover Castle

Enjoy the delights of Bolsover's Artisan Market

On the 1st Saturday of the month, April-October there’s a splendid Artisan Market, with an extensive range of delicious food, beverage and craft stalls lining the streets and ancient Market Square of Bolsover Town.  

 

Why not combine your visit with my Town Tour with Afternoon Tea on an Artisan Market Day and you’ll have an utterly jam-packed day of activity!

 

Where is Bolsover

Conveniently situated off Junction 29a on the M1 Motorway. From this approach you’ll see the spectacular frontage of Bolsover Castle dominating the skyline, high on the hill.

Bolsover Castle sits high on the Hill

If you’re travelling into Bolsover from the east, you’ll miss this view so it’s worth doing a short de-tour and entering the town from the M1/West approach as it makes a most magnificent welcome to the town, along with me of course!

 

All parking is FREE in Bolsover 

There are few things in life that are FREE, fortunately PARKING in Bolsover is one of them! And contrary to what you may have read, there are NO TIME RESTRICTIONS so you can stay as long as you like. SPLENDID!


  • Town End/Morrisons Car Park, Bolsover, S44 6DT

  • Middle Street Car Park, Bolsover S44 6HD (Off Cotton Street). DO NOT follow Google instructions to Middle Street Car Park. It’s not where it says it is!!! Simply Google, Middle Street, Bolsover and you’ll see the Car Park.

  • Castle Street Car Park, S44 6PP

 

We didn’t have any parking dilemmas back in Victorian times, we simply left the horses and carriage at the stables at Bolsover Castle.

Baroness Bolsover and her family in the carriage and horses

Stay in Bolsover and Explore!

At the centre of the great ‘Cavendish County’ with Hardwick Hall, Chatsworth House and Welbeck Abbey close by, Bolsover makes an ideal base in which to explore this area steeped in fascinating history.

 

Both The Willows B&B and The Gravediggers Cottage make the perfect place for your stay at any time of the year and are conveniently situated within the boundary of Bolsover’s Medieval Town.

 

The Welbeck Estate

Bolsover Castle and Welbeck Abbey form part of the vast Welbeck Estate. The Welbeck Estate was originally created by Charles Cavendish after purchasing the old castle grounds of Bolsover along with land in the area reaching as far as Welbeck Abbey which he also bought.


This Welbeck Estate has been passed down the line of our Cavendish family since Charles's death in the early 1600’s.

 

The Duke of Portland Title

In the 1700’s one of Charles's female descendants married a Dutchman with the title the 2nd Duke of Portland. This title stayed in the family and the Welbeck Estate along with the title Duke of Portland was now passed down our family line.  

 

By the late 1800’s there had been several subsequent Dukes of Portland’s and when my young stepson, Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck inherited the Welbeck Estate in 1879 he became the 6th Duke of Portland.

The 6th Duke of Portland was Baroness Bolsover's stepson

Disappointment at Welbeck

We decided we would leave our house in London and move up north to make Welbeck Abbey my son’s ducal home, with Bolsover Castle close by.


We left London in the autumn of 1879 and arrived at Welbeck Abbey only to find it had been left in a dreadful state by the 5th Duke.  The new Duke was ready to leave and go elsewhere, but I was determined my young family would stay to enjoy the fresh air of the Nottinghamshire countryside.

 

I persuaded the 6th Duke to remain at Welbeck Abbey under the agreement that I would personally supervise the renovation of the Abbey and turn it into a house fit for the aristocracy once more.    

 

After 10 months of long hours working with local craftsmen, I transformed the Abbey back to its former glory and we, like our ancestors Charles and William Cavendish, made it our main place of residency.

I was awarded the title of Baroness of Bolsover (Castle) by my Queen Victoria in 1880 in recognition of my work at Welbeck Abbey.  I am the ONE AND ONLY Baroness of Bolsover in the entire history of our planet.  A fact of which I’m rather proud.

 

Would you rather have been a Duchess

Who wouldn’t? It’s a huge step up the title ladder from Baroness.

 

The truth is, I SHOULD have been the 6TH DUCHESS OF PORTLAND, but my dear husband Arthur, who was in line to become the 6th Duke of Portland, sadly passed away before the 5th Duke. I was devasted as you can imagine… about my husband’s death that is. And a little, shall we say, disappointed to have missed out on becoming the 6th Duchess of Portland.


The title and inheritance, as they always did, were passed on to the male heir. Nothing for us women. I’m still awaiting my widow’s pension and my husband died in 1877!

 

Still, one mustn’t complain…. a Baroness is better than nothing… and I think you’ll agree it does have rather a nice ring to it, Baroness Bolsover!

 

Did Baroness Bolsover ever live at Bolsover Castle

Forming part of our estate we did of course often visit Bolsover and the Parish Church was very dear to our hearts. Many members of our family, including my self and my husband, were originally buried in the Cavendish Chapel there which William Cavendish had had built in the early 1600’s.

We loved to take walks in the Castle grounds and the children loved to play in the rooms, but you couldn’t possibly live there. Sitting so high on the hill made it VERY draughty!


My family, like our ancestors who had inherited Welbeck Estate down the line from Charles Cavendish, made their main home Welbeck Abbey.


Where is Welbeck Abbey

About 12 miles from Bolsover, in Nottinghamshire. The Welbeck Estate is magnificent and there are many things to see and enjoy. I had a wonderful time there.

 

Baroness Bolsover Beer!

One such interesting place on the estate is the Welbeck Brewery where you can visit and savour some unique and inspiring hand-crafted ales, you can even take a tour and see how it’s made.  


And I’m thrilled to have a beer made in my name which is infused with my very own Baroness Bolsover’s Afternoon Tea blend. How splendid is that!

I used to adore being the hostess of the tea parties at Welbeck, but I never imagined in a million years that one day my Afternoon Tea blend, which I served to my guests, would become a complimentary ingredient in a beer….and it’s DELICOUSLY REFRESHING…just like my tea!

 

The Baroness Bolsover Victorian Experience

Things have altered a little in the town of Bolsover since my Victorian days, but thankfully, much of the scenery and old buildings remain unchanged and it still oozes charm. So do join me in the summer months for your own Private Group Tour followed by a delicious Afternoon Tea.


It will be a TRULY MEMORABLE DAY OUT and my absolute pleasure to take you on the same stroll my family enjoyed over 150 years ago.


 

Baroness Bolsover drinks her Afternoon Tea Blend

If there’s any thing you’d like to ask me do leave a comment or get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.


I look forward to welcoming you to Bolsover.


Yours Truly


Baroness Bolsover

The Victorian Afternoon Tea Lady


Email the Baroness via lindajaneholmes@hotmail.co.uk 

or Call 07930 258 399

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