The Crescent was designed by John Carr of York and built between 1779 and 1789 after being funded by the Fifth Duke of Devonshire, as the centrepiece for his scheme to create a spa in the north of England.
It was originally conceived as two purpose-built hotels separated by six lodging houses, and over the years has boasted a mixture of coffee shops, card rooms and ground floor shops.
The Crescent Hotel closed in the early part of the 20th Century and the building then became county council offices and the town’s library in 1970 before becoming vacant in 1992. The St Ann’s Hotel closed in 1989 and has remained empty ever since.
The Natural Baths evolved over many centuries and occupies the site of the Roman Baths situated over the main mineral water spring. The current building was constructed in 1853 to the design of Henry Curry but was altered in the 1920s.
It was partly refurbished as the Tourist Information Centre but the majority of the building has been empty since 1972.
Curry built the Pump Room for the 7th Duke of Devonshire in 1894. It was last used to “take the waters” in the 1970s.
In 2003, High Peak Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council appointed Trevor Osborne Property Group and CP Holdings to carry out the ambitious multi-million pound project to transform the Georgian building into a thermal spa and five-star hotel, operated by Danubius once complete.
Planning permission was granted in 2006, after which the project has been plagued by legal and funding problems.
The first phase of work to convert the Grade I listed building into a five-star spa hotel was completed in August 2013 when a basement between the building and the culverted River Wye was created.
The main building work is scheduled to start in January 2015.