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Historic England Grant Puts Finishing Touches to Revival of Buxton Crescent

  • Historic England have made a new grant of £125,000 to help complete the restoration of Buxton's iconic Crescent
  • Repairs to decoration will mean visitors can experience a luxurious Victorian interior after decades of decay
  • Conservation works to Georgian gravity-defying staircases will see them in use for another 200 years!

An elegant Victorian interior in the Crescent in Buxton is being restored to its former glory, thanks to a new grant worth £125,000 from Historic England. Restoration work has begun to rare Art Nouveau wallpaper in the Blue Room. Elsewhere the original 18th century cantilever staircases, which appear to float in mid-air, are being conserved, so visitors can continue to tread in the steps of the first Georgian sightseers. The work is putting the finishing touches to a six-year programme of repairs worth £50m, which will enable Georgian Buxton to become a premier destination once again.

18th century cantilevered staircase undergoing repairs
The 18th century cantilevered staircase was designed to thrill visitors with its weightless appearance © Historic England

Restoring the Crescent’s special character

In the Blue Room a very rare Art Nouveau embossed frieze of poppy flowers has survived decades of decline, and elaborate 'Lincrusta' ceiling paper continues to cling on. Now they are undergoing expert restoration. Conservation work to the Crescent's Georgian stone staircases now means that they will continue to thrill visitors with their gravity-defying appearance.

The 5th Duke of Devonshire's heraldic shield was the original final embellishment to the Crescent. Over the years it has suffered from serious erosion and damage. Our grant will also see the shield conserved and the ducal crown reconstructed to restore that final, crucial decoration.

Victorian ‘Lincrusta’ wallpaper on the ceiling of the Blue Room at the Crescent, Buxton
Victorian ‘Lincrusta’ wallpaper on the ceiling of the Blue Room at the Crescent, Buxton, photographed during repairs © Trevor Osborne Property Group

Working together to fulfil a dream

The Grade I listed building has been on Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register from the start. In 2011 we made a grant of £500,000 to Derbyshire County Council to repair the fabric of the Crescent, Pump Room and Natural Baths. We provided technical advice throughout the scheme. The Heritage Lottery Fund, Derbyshire County Council and High Peak Borough Council have all funded work to bring the building back into use as a resort and spa.

Thanks to these combined efforts, the scheme is the East Midlands' most ambitious rescue of a historic building of recent years. Our latest grant will recover essential elements of the building's character for modern visitors to enjoy.

It's been a long-cherished dream to bring the Crescent back into use, and we have been working closely with the developers, hotel operator and local decision-makers to see it come true. We want to help Buxton position itself to trade on its fabulous Georgian heritage. The additional work our grant has made possible means that visitors to the Crescent will gain a truly authentic experience of that heritage.

Louise Brennan, Planning Director for Historic England in the East Midlands

Find out more about Buxton Crescent and the project

Visit grant-aided places

We provide grants to help conserve historic places like the Crescent throughout England. These include listed buildings, scheduled monuments and designed landscapes. Many grant-aided places open to the public as a condition of their grant. We won't have details of public access to the Crescent until the scheme is completed but there are many other grant-aided places you can visit now.

Explore historic properties across the country given grant aid

Help to enrich the List

Visit the listing for the Crescent and upload your pictures

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