Elvaston parish in Derbyshire, comprises of 3 small villages, Thulston, Elvaston and Ambaston. It has somehow managed to retain its rural character and a number of working farms despite having the outer fringes of suburban Derby as next door neighbour.
Thurlston, nearest to the A6 London Road, is the biggest of the 3, has the parishes only pub, the Harrington Arms. Elvaston a mere couple of fields and a sharp bend further along the B5010 towards Borrowash, has the parish church, St Bartholomew, a mansion and grounds called Elvaston Castle, and a parish hall. Ambaston is a small hamlet, with only one street and a few homesteads, close to the river Derwent.
Elvaston Castle gardens
The parish church of St Bartholomew stands in the grounds of Elvaston Castle and is close to the mansion. The oldest part of the church is the chancel, which dates back to around 1200, though it was restored and lengthened by Bodley in 1905. Almost everything else is medieval, including the fine Perpendicular west tower. The clerestory and north isle windows were added by the first Lord Mountjoy of Thurvaston in 1474.
Elvaston village hall was formerly the village school, dated 1852, where numerous parish organisations and societies meet.
The grounds at Elvaston Castle are more famous than the House. Derbyshire County Council restored them in 1968-70 and opened them to the public as a country park. They were designed for the Earl of Harrington between 1830 and 1850 by William Barron, who came to Elvaston from the Botanic Gardens in, Edinburgh and they contain long straight avenues as well as fine landscaping with a wide selection of trees, a large serpentine lake, and also plenty of topiary.