Contact Us

Imagine Duffield Castle

as a game of chess
Rebirth, Rachel Costigan

The tarmac capped foundation stones of Duffield Castle give no hint of the stature of the fortress that once stood on the site. That’s why the National Trust, working with DerwentWISE, are asking visitors to rebuild the Castle in their imaginations.

‘In September we will be installing some new signage on the site to help fire people’s imaginations before they arrive at the castle remains’ reveals Rachel Costigan from the DerwentWISE partnership. ‘We wanted to create the feeling of a legend around the Castle and the story behind it’


Jo Watkinson from the National Trust added ‘As a scheduled ancient monument we are taking a lot of care over how we install the new signage. Historic England has given approval for the proposals. Permission has been granted to remove some of the vegetation that is obscuring the view to the East that made it a good strategic position for a castle.’


‘A complex sequence of political manoeuvres led the King to order the destruction of the de Ferrers castle on this site. It instantly made us think of a game of chess’ said Johnathan Leech from the Duffield Arts Festival.


Look out for a performance at the Castle as part of the Arts Festival on September 22nd and 23rd that explores this idea further. For more information about Duffield Arts Festival 2018 see


DerwentWISE is the Lower Derwent Valley Landscape Partnership hosted by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. The project focuses on restoring the valley’s natural and cultural heritage. For more information about the project and other events that will take place to mark the final year please visit Celebrating DerwentWISE

Back to top