Buxton is a spa town in Derbyshire
. It has the highest elevation of any market town in England. Located close to the county boundary with Cheshire
to the west and Staffordshire
to the south, Buxton is described as "the gateway to the Peak District National Park".A municipal borough until 1974, Buxton was then merged with other localities including Glossop, lying primarily to the north, to form the local government district and borough of High Peak within the county of Derbyshire.Buxton is within the sphere of influence of Greater Manchester
due to its close proximity to the area.
Buxton is home to Poole
's Cavern, an extensive limestone cavern open to the public, and St Ann's Well, fed by the geothermal spring bottled and sold internationally by Buxton Mineral Water Company. Also in the town is the Buxton Opera House
, which hosts several music and theatre festivals each year. The Devonshire Campus of the University of Derby
is housed in one of the town's historic buildings.Buxton is twinned with two other towns: Oignies in France
and Bad Nauheim in Germany
The Romans developed a settlement known as Aquae Arnemetiae (or the spa of the goddess of the grove).The discovery of coins indicate the Romans were in Buxton throughout their occupation.
- The Crescent (1780–1784) was modelled on Bath's Royal Crescent by John Carr along with the neighbouring irregular octagon and colonnade of the Great Stables. The Crescent features a grand assembly room with a fine painted ceiling. The Crescent has been unoccupied for many years, but plans are in place for it to be converted into a hotel.
- The Devonshire Dome (1780–1789) was created from the Great Stables, converted in 1859 by Henry Currey, architect to the 7th Duke of Devonshire. It became the Devonshire Royal Hospital (now the Devonshire Campus of the University of Derby).
- Buxton Opera House was designed by Frank Matcham in 1903 and is the highest opera house in the country. Matcham was a prolific theatrical architect who designed several London theatres, including the London Palladium, the London Coliseum and the Hackney Empire. The opera house is attached to the Pavilion Gardens, Octagonal Hall (built in 1875) and the smaller Pavilion Arts Centre (see below). The Pavilion Gardens, designed by Edward Milner, contain 93,000 m sq of gardens and ponds and were opened in 1871. Opposite is an original Penfold octagonal post box.
- Buxton railway station was designed by Joseph Paxton, who designed the layout of the Park Road circular estate. He is perhaps more famous for his design of the Crystal Palace in London.
- The Pavilion Gardens, by Jeffry Wyattville.
- The 122-room Palace Hotel, built in 1868, is a prominent feature of the Buxton skyline on the hill above the railway station. It was also designed by Currey.
- The Old Hall Hotel is one of the oldest buildings in Buxton. It was owned by the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, George Talbot. He and his wife, Bess of Hardwick, were the "gaolers" of Mary, Queen of Scots. She came to Buxton several times to take the waters, the last time in 1584. The present building dates from 1670 and has a five-bay front with a Tuscan doorway.
The town is overlooked by two landmarks. Atop Grinlow Hill, 1,441 feet (439 m) above sea level, is Grinlow Tower (locally also called "Solomon's Temple"), a two-storey granite, crooked, crenelated folly built in 1834 by Solomon Mycock to provide work for the town's unemployed and restored in 1996 after a lengthy closure to the public. In the other direction, on Corbar Hill, 1,433 feet (437 m) above sea level, is Corbar Cross, a tall, wooden cross. Originally given to the Roman Catholic Church by the Duke of Devonshire in 1950 to commemorate Holy Year, it was replaced in the 1980s.
In 2010, during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK, it was cut down as a protest against a long history of child abuse at the Catholic St Williams School in Market Weighton, Yorkshire.The Buxton ecumenical group Churches Together organised several benefactors who replaced the cross with a smaller cross in May 2011.