New owners complete purchase of castle in Cromford

Eighteenth-century country mansion Willersley Castle in Cromford is now under new ownership, an estate agents has confirmed.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 2:15 pm
The castle now belongs to Manor Adventures

The Grade II listed house has been in operation as a hotel since the Second World War and now, under new owners Manor Adventure, will become an outdoor pursuit centre offering activities such as archery, obstacle courses, fencing and high ropes along with accommodation options.

Situated above the River Derwent, Willersley Castle benefits from its idyllic location, with grounds extending to 65 acres of open fields and ancient woodland.

The sumptuous home was originally built for industrialist Sir Richard Arkwright by the architect William Thomas. However, Arkwright died in 1792 before the building was completed.

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The property was sold in 1927 to Sir Albert Ball who divided up the estate and sold the castle and its grounds to Methodist businessmen who converted it to a Methodist Guild Holiday Centre.

During World War II, the castle operated as a maternity hospital between 1940 and 1945. It later returned to operating as a Methodist Guild hotel, then as a Christian Guild hotel.

The sale marks the final transaction in a portfolio of four properties for the Joint Administrators of Methodist Guild Holidays Limited, with Sidholme Hotel, Devon; Hothorpe Hall, Lutterworth and Treloyhan Manor, St Ives selling earlier in the year.

Tom Cunningham, hotels director at Savills, said: “Opportunities to acquire historic landmarks such as this are rare, and Willersley Castle will make a fantastic location as a new centre for Manor Adventure.

"We look forward to seeing the property take on a new chapter and are pleased to have completed on the final sale across this portfolio of four impressive properties throughout the UK.”

A family company since 1991, Manor Adventure is the largest independent company in the school residential sector in the UK.

It uses Outdoor Pursuits as a ‘catalyst to develop each and every child’ and also offers residential experiences in France to ‘develop and nurture children’ while staying in a real 18th Century Château.