Riber Castle, Derbyshire

The view from Lickpenny Lane, Ashover this morning. Riber Castle is visible just above the driver’s side front wheel. I remember it as a regular school and cub-scout trip destination in the 1970s. In those days, the ruins of John Smedley’s former home was home to a rather depressing zoo. The zoo closed at the turn of the millennium. More recently, Riber Castle has been the subject of a long running redevelopment project to convert it into apartments.

The view towards Riber Castle and the Heights of Abraham


  • Sally Norman

    I remember Riber Castle zoo! You could actually put your hand through the cage and stroke the lynxes! (Had to look that word up lol) Loved Matlock as a child, happy memories!
    Hope you’re keeping well.
    Sally x

    • tim

      Hi Sally,

      I’m good thanks! I found some cine film of Riber Zoo from 1969 after I’d written this. I shall put it up on here shortly, but yes, it looked amazingly dangerous compared with today’s standards and some of the animals seemed to have very little space.


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