19th September 2013
The Devonshire Royal Hospital, Buxton was converted from John Carr of York’s glorious Georgian-era stable building, in two major stages. William Spencer, the 6th Duke of Devonshire firstly allowed half of the building to be converted to create hospital accommodation in 1858. In1859, architect Henry Currey, who had previously built the Natural Baths, and was later to build the Pump Room in Buxton, was responsible for the conversion of that part of the building.
Then in 1878, the Seventh Duke of Devonshire was persuaded to allow the whole building to be given over to the hospital. Architect Robert Ripon Duke, was responsible for the design which included creating a single span dome to cover over the internal circular courtyard. This steel ribbed dome, which has a span of 154 feet was, until recently, the largest unsupported dome in the world and is a fantastic feat of innovative Victorian engineering.
The clock tower was also added in 1880-81 by Robert Ripon Duke. There is an urn on the pediment which is believed to have originally been sited on the Georgian Well House designed by John Carr of York, sadly, since demolished.