Elvaston Castle 3
CREDIT: © Martine Hamilton Knight DLitt(hon)

Historical Architecture - Urbex Day at Elvaston Castle

Event info

The RPS Website is currently undergoing upgrades. Please contact info@rps.org to book a place on this workshop, or call 0117 3164 464.

Limited to 8 places - only two places left.

Top architectural photographer, Martine Hamilton Knight DLitt(hon) is looking forward to welcoming you to the Urbex photography day, but with a difference; this one has the permission of Elvaston’s owners, no trespassing involved. The earliest parts of this Grade II* castle in Derbyshire date from 1633, with significant further development in the early 1800’s by James Wyatt which led to its Gothic Revival style. Extensive Pleasure Grounds with multiple follies and buildings by William Barron include a Moorish style temple.  A combination of death duties and economic changes meant the estate was left to rapidly decline in the 1960’s, until Derbyshire County Council saved it and created of one of the UK’s earliest Country Parks. However, a lack of financial resources needed to retain an estate on this scale has meant that the much loved centre-piece of the house itself remains closed whilst applications are made to various bodies to assist with funding for restoration and to safeguard its future.  Join us on the far side of the padlocks and learn how best to capture unlit interiors. Composition and lighting will be discussed and explored, together with exposure, and wide angle vs telephoto lens choice. We will use be using battery LED lights to control contrast and add mood/drama to your interiors, with guidance throughout. Please bring a flash if you own one. Your day will also include a short classroom based tutorial at the start of the event.

Course Structure: Please arrive at 9.45am for a 10am start and the course finishes at around 4.30pm with approx 1/2 hour break for lunch.

Tea & coffee is provided, and if you do not wish to bring a packed lunch, the onsite cafe is doing take away sandwiches which we can take back to our base room.

Directions and arrival:

Meeting Point - Under the clock tower in the courtyard 9:45 to 10:00. You will need to collect a car permit from Martine at this point to place in your windscreen too. 

We can use the staff carpark for the day at no extra change. It is by the stables & clock tower. Ignore the Country Park signage. Instead, drive into the village and follow signs to the Village Hall and Cricket Club (Bridle Gate Lane). Just keep going on the lane until you see the walled courtyard and stable block. The car park is on your left. We will meet under the arch of the clock tower.

Please Bring: Please bring your Camera, all Lenses, spare Batteries & spare memory cards plus a Tripod - (if you have one), if not we have plenty for you to borrow. a notebook & pen. Please remember to bring your camera instruction book if you still have it.

The tutor will need contact details in case she needs to send you any information, we will presume that by booking this course you are giving permission unless you contact us to state otherwise. 

Additional Notes: Please note that the building is entirely unheated, so warm outdoor clothing with sturdy boots are recommended at all times. Owing to the condition of the interiors this course is only recommended for the able bodied who are happy to navigate uneven floors, raised thresholds and staircases carrying their kit. Please  note that interior light levels can be very low owing to no mains power.

About the Tutor: Martine Hamilton Knight D Litt(hon), FHEA is a long established, award winning independent architectural photographer based in the city of Nottingham. Her images have been published internationally and are regularly featured in architectural books and journals.

Martine is a Manfrotto Ambassador and also is a part time lecturer on the MA Commercial Photography at Nottingham Trent University.



Event Organiser

Emma Delves-Broughton


Venue Information

NOTE: We do NOT use the Country Park carpark for this event. We have permission to park next to the stables.

Cancellation policy

Please inform us as soon as possible if you are unable to attend a course as it is not possible to refund any cancellation or transfer to another workshop less than 14 days prior to course start date. The Society reserves the right to cancel a workshop 7 days prior to its start date - please check your hotel and travel cancellation policy as this may be affected.

If you are attending one of our workshops that involves a trip out, please ensure you bring all weather clothing and protection for your camera. Persons under the age of 16 are welcome to attend events but, to conform with UK law, must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible adult.


Elvaston Castle

Bridle Gate Lane




DE72 3EP