Yes, Riber Castle really was Smedley’s ‘second choice’!


In this new series, Patrick Coleman looks at some of the weird and wonderful structures that were planned – but never built – in Derbyshire.

PICTURE THIS: you are driving through the Derbyshire Dales along a winding road near Matlock. It’s summer, and the sun is rising in the early morning sky, drenching the landscape in brilliant light. As you approach your destination, a shadow descends, one you’ve been expecting, falling strangely across the fields in a perfectly straight line, as though a giant sundial had been fixed into the earth nearby…