History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: The birthplace of the Glorious Revolution
HistoryThe three men were local nobles William Cavendish, 4th Earl of Devonshire, John Darcy, fourth son of the Earl of Holderness, and the Earl of Danby. Their meeting was ostensibly a hunting party, and was planned for Whittington Moor, but when the weather turned stormy, the three men sought refuge at the inn, then an isolated hostelry known as the Cock and Pynot ('pynot' being a local term for a magpie). Together the three men composed a letter inviting Prince William to take the English throne, with his wife Mary. Their plan was to conquer the north, then march south against James. The letter, written in code, recorded their plans and invited William to sail to England and take the crown. Though all three men helped prepare the plan, only the Earl of Devonshire signed it.
One hundred years later, in 1788, a group of dignitaries met at the alehouse to mark the centenary of the Glorious Revolution. The gathering was led by the local vicar, Samuel Pegge, and included the Duke of Devonshire, a direct descendant of the 4th Earl. The Duke and Duchess led a procession, along with the Mayor of Chesterfield, from Revolution House to a civic reception in Chesterfield. It must have quite a sight, with marching bands and throngs of people stretching the entire 3 mile course of the processional route.
Two years later the alehouse was converted into a private dwelling. Just to confuse matters, a new pub was erected directly behind it and named the Cock and Magpie.
VisitingThe House is signposted off the B6052 and is free to enter. It stands at a triangular corner just below the village pub, and is fronted by a small garden enclosed by a stone wall. Inside, the first thing you notice is how low the doorways are. Our family took turns standing by one particularly low doorway, trying to imagine how you could possibly use it without bumping your head!
It won't take long to explore Revolution House; even the upstairs exhibition area is quite small, but I do think its well worth a visit; it is an attractive historic building in its own right, a lovely example of 16th century architecture, even apart from its historic importance in launching the Glorious Revolution.
About Revolution House
Address: High Street, Old Whittington, Derbyshire, England, S41 9JZ
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: Signposted off the B6052 in Old Whittington, 3 miles north of Chesterfield. Parking along nearby streets. Free entry.
Website: Revolution House
Phone: 01246 345727
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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