Regency Masked Ball takes centre stage for Buxton Crescent Experience events programme

For years, the Crescent was the focus of a lengthy multi-million-pound restoration project. Local people in particular took an interest in the fate of the Grade I listed Georgian structure which has long been considered the heart of Buxton. Back in the late 1700s, Buxton was a tiny yet majestic health resort nestled amongst the rugged hills of Derbyshire and folk would brave the journey to ‘take the waters’. Those who could afford it would stay at The Crescent hotel, designed by the architect John Carr of York, and built for the 5th Duke of Devonshire.

Fast forward 250 years and a much larger town now surrounds the Crescent and Buxton still enjoys a thriving tourist trade; its mineral-rich water remains its most notable commodity. But the completion of the restoration project gave rise to the Buxton Crescent Experience (owned by the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust) which, post-pandemic, is now able to thrive with it’s lively events programme and the unique ‘crescent experience’ heritage centre.

So what’s on at the Buxton Crescent Experience, since they reopened the doors to the public earlier this year? The ‘experience’ set inside the building is an interactive journey into the past of the hotel and the town across nine rooms. Ideal for families, this unique visitor attraction explores the often-eccentric history of Buxton, including all the bizarre health treatments and even a virtual reality hot-air balloon flight above the town during its Georgian heyday. There are more details about the project too, if you’re interested in how such a large and complicated building was restored to glory. An all-weather attraction, it offers a taste of the Buxton story, and provides an ideal starting point for anyone visiting or learning about the town.

When the Crescent Experience first opened, there were still many pandemic restrictions in place, but you can now wander the attraction more freely and guided tours are optional. School visits with educational packages are now being offered too, which was part of the original plan.

A year round events programme of public talks, family activities and other events can now take place in the magnificent Assembly Room and Buxton Visitor Centre (The Pump Room). Both venues offer a fitting backdrop for children and adults alike re-imagining the splendour of the Georgian era.

Amongst the regular series of talks that take place in The Pump Room, don’t miss Two Queens and a Countess, an in depth talk on the interaction between the three most colourful and charismatic women in Elizabethan History – Mary, Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I and Bess of Hardwick. The talk seeks out the intense rivalry, blazing ambitions and a win at all costs between them. There is jealousy, envy and lust for power as each one seeks to achieve their ultimate goal! Book your tickets here.

In September, the Assembly Room will host a Regency Masked Ball and guests are being asked to don their very best Regency ball gown or black tie costume, with a night of music and dancing. On arrival, professional photographer Arlen Connelly will be taking professional portraits as guests arrive. There’s also a charity auction planned for the night, with loads of surprise goodies donated by Buxton businesses supporting the event.

Georgian Derbyshire Festival in September will celebrate Derbyshire’s impact on world history in the Georgian era with events taking place both in The Pump Room and across the county. Over three days the theme covers architecture, water and society with various with walks, talks and activities. More details will be published very soon.

The knowledgable team of staff at Buxton Visitor Centre (The Pump Room) can help you plan your trip and offer information on Buxton and the Peak District area. The gift shop offers a wide range of quality locally sourced gifts and bespoke and exclusive souvenirs as well as a range of greeting cards and postcards, maps and local interest books. Tickets for Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust events can be purchased online or at the Visitor Centre.

Buxton Crescent Heritage Experience, The Crescent, Buxton, SK17 6BH

T: 01298 214577

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