Dressage at Bolsover Castle

Bolsover Castle's riding school was established by William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle Upon Tyne (1593–1676). A staunch Royalist, Cavendish was Horse Master to King Charles I, and during the Interregnum he lived in self-imposed exile on the Continent. One of the places where he lived was Antwerp – in the Rubenshuis (the house where the painter Peter Paul Rubens had lived from 1610 till his death in 1640) – where he also established a riding school. In 1658 he published Méthode et invention nouvelle de dresser les chevaux (A New Method and Device for Training Horses).

Cavendish is widely regarded as the father of modern dressage. Today, regular public dressage displays are staged at Bolsover Castle.

You can read more about William Cavendish here (on the ITV website), and about the dressage displays at Bolsover here (English Heritage).

© Haydn Thompson 2021