Monument record MDR9652 - Riber Castle (remains of), Riber Road, Riber, Matlock Town

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Riber Castle is a Grade II building built in 1868 by John Smedley. It is a large castellated mansion, the nucleus having square three-storeyed towers at the angles, and the site enclosed by battlemented curtain-walls with out-towers. Late in date and pure pastiche, it may be regarded as a mammoth folly. It is a well-known landmark, crowning a height, and from a distance has character. It is unoccupied and ruinous. (1) Riber Castle is the ruins of John Smedley's enormous residence, built using the profits of his hydro at Matlock Bath. Pevsner gives the construction date as 1862-8, though Black's Guide to Derbyshire (1870) describes it as in the process of construction. It commands views over Matlock. During the war the building was used as a food store, then as a boys' preparatory school. The building is now [in 1974] the site for a Wildlife Park which has effectively removed all romanticism from close in. Best viewed from a distance and from below, therefore, where the parked cars, tea room, caged animals, trippers etc. remain invisible. (2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Riber Castle (1974).
  • <2> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England.



Grid reference Centred SK 3068 5902 (224m by 226m) Approximate

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR2483

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Record last edited

Nov 1 2022 3:44PM

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